Shares of Kohl's Corp. jumped 4.4 percent in trading Wednesday after a Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst upped the department store's stock to "outperform" from "neutral" in a research note.
The analyst, David Cumberland, said Kohl's upcoming Vera Wang merchandise launch and store expansion plans were paving the way for increased growth visibility and attractive share valuation.
The stock increased steadily throughout the day. After opening at $69.25 it closed at $71.20. Slightly more than six million shares changed hands, compared with a three-month average volume of 3.3 million.
"We're as eager as everyone to see the Vera Wang product and get more feedback," said Baird analyst Cumberland, in a telephone interview. Cumberland noted that industry observers and customers have given the line strong reviews so far.
Cumberland expects Kohl's new line, called Simply Vera Vera Wang and slated for a September launch, to attract new customers looking for contemporary apparel.
"I think the concept for Kohl's and where it has stood out with customers is the strong perception of value," the analyst said. "They've got the broad middle-market customer they've attracted over time."
Cumberland also pointed to the company's continued expansion plan. The chain currently runs 834 stores in 46 states, and plans to open between 110 and 115 stores in 2007, as well as 100 stores a year for 2008, 2009 and 2010.
"In the department store area, no one is even close to Kohl's growth rate," said Cumberland, who noted that Kohl's is one of the nation's fastest growing among all retailers.
The analyst estimates that the company will reach the high end of its 2007 forecast range of $3.75 to $3.87 in diluted earnings per share, which he said implies a growth rate of between 6 and 10 percent for the second half of 2007. Consensus estimates call for 2007 earnings of $3.90 a share.
"Kohl's should continue to gain substantial market share in 2007, although we expect diminished incremental benefits from competitor store closings," said Cumberland, who noted that department store closings, led over the past several years by the Macy's Inc. and May Department Stores Co. merger and Mervyns store closings, should moderate relative to the high levels of the past two years.Kohl's, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., did not return calls for comment. The retailer will also be introducing in September Food Network kitchen products and Elle apparel.
Despite his optimism, Cumberland acknowledged that broad economic indicators would affect the department store's growth. "I think it's a clear negative for consumer spending in terms of gas spending and the housing market and my expectation is there will be some impact on Kohl's results based on those factors," Cumberland said. "But it is well-positioned against competitors."
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)