Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners has cut his earnings estimate for Genesco's first fiscal quarter to 82 cents from 92 cents because of the abnormally cold March experienced in much of the country as well as in the United Kingdom. While acknowledging that Genesco isn't as exposed as some other retailers to sales of open-toed footwear, he says the lingering cold nevertheless kept some shoppers out of malls. He has cut his same-store sales projection to a drop of 5 percent and sees operating margins slipping to 5.2 percent — his previous estimate was 5.7 percent — versus 6.5 percent last year.
Montagna still has a 'market outperform' rating on Genesco, though, based on valuation, and sees it rising to $66 from its current $58 and change. The stock (Ticker: GCO) has risen about 8 percent year to date.
With Nashville Fashion Week just around the corner — check out the schedule of events here — Abby White takes a good look in this week's Scene at how realistic it is for Music City to build a sustainable identity as a regional center for the fashion business. A lot of talent is already here, but when it comes to funding sources and the capacity to actually crank out clothing, we have a ways to go.
Cole says the supply for the industry is here, should the demand be fully realized. "I see a lot of energy in fashion, design — particularly for product and set design — and people relocating and freelancing here, and creating their own industries," she says. "The talent pool is here."
The infrastructure, however, is not. And for a handful of Nashville designers, the demand has been realized — to the point that it has outstripped their ability to produce domestically. An important piece of the puzzle, then, if a fashion industry is to flourish here, is manufacturing.
Analyst Stephen Anderson at Miller + Tabak has called time on Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, which has climbed more than 20 percent year to date (Ticker: CBRL) after adding more than that in 2012. Anderson cut his recommendation to 'hold' from 'buy,' and his price target of $81 leaves little room for upside from here.
Shares of Genesco (Ticker: GCO) gave up 2 percent Tuesday after fellow shoe retailer DSW reported a weak Q4 and said its quarter-to-date same-store sales are off 5 percent. While some analysts saw opportunity to buy the dip in DSW and Steve Madden, Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners is more pessimistic. Specifically, he's looking ahead to the Easter weekend's weather forecasts, which are calling for temperatures well below last year's in many parts of the country. That, Montagna writes, "is a negative for all of our coverage: apparel, footwear, off price, dollar stores." More shoppers will stay home and dent retailers' gross margins in a number of ways.
High-end local clothing maker Imogene + Willie has been issued a small building permit for suite 121 at 1310 Clinton St., one of the buildings that's part of the Marathon Village cluster near downtown. The $2,500 permit is for space in the western wing of the complex near Antique Archeology and below the studios housing Lightning 100.
Shares of Genesco got a nice boost Wednesday from Stephanie Wissink at Piper Jaffray, who upgraded the retailer's stock to 'overweight' from 'neutral' and said investors should focus on the company's long-term earnings growth potential. Wissink also hiked her price target to $73 from $62 — the stock (Ticker: GCO) closed up 4 percent Wednesday at $62 — on the back of "stable gross margins and cost discipline."
In a guest commentary in Bloomberg Brief Wednesday, PMG Venture Group analyst Kristin Bentz says the recent tepid gains in consumer spending haven't come from masses of consumers opening their wallets but have instead been concentrated at the high end. Many middle-class consumers, she says, have traded down from mass merchants Walmart and Target to dollar stores such as Dollar General (Ticker: DG), which have increasingly become "de facto grocery stores" and which may never give up those customers now that they have them.
A company that took over a bunch of loans from the failed Tennessee Commerce Bank is taking to court Doug Mathews, the 104.5 The Zone radio show host and former University of Tennessee football coach. Sandton Capital, which is pursuing a similar claim against Bristol Development Group, is looking for about $1.2 million.
The trading plan set up a year ago by Genesco CEO Bob Dennis this week sold off 8,000 of his shares, bringing in more than $480,000. The sale — a repeat of a transaction from mid-December — leaves Dennis owning about $14.2 million worth of Genesco shares. The stock (Ticker: GCO) has risen about 8 percent so far in 2013.
Analyst Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners says Genesco's fourth-quarter earnings report next week could bring with it some bad news as it relates to profit projections for the coming year. Traffic at malls took a big dive in January — Montagna says Genesco's execs may have underestimated the drop six weeks ago — which will hurt sales. On top of that, teens appear to be reining in their spending for the spring, the new payroll tax hike is hurting many other consumers and there isn't a fashion trend emerging to lure back consumers.
As a result, Montagna has lowered his full-year fiscal 2014 forecast to $5.50 per share from $5.60 and trimmed his same-store sales forecast for several of Genesco's divisions by one to two percentage points.
Comps will see less benefit from average selling price gains of flat to 3% vs. FY13 +5%-6%. A bigger issue is the lack of a trend to alter the decelerating comp trend at Lids.
The main reason Montagna says he's keeping his 'outperform' rating on Genesco's stock: Its low valuation, which is just 10 times the consensus forward earnings estimate. Also helping, he says, is his expectation that 30 percent of the coming year's EPS growth will come from stock buybacks.
Shares of the company (Ticker: GCO) are down slightly today to about $58.50. Year to date, it's up about 6 percent.