Throwing optimism aside, Urban Outfitters Inc. chief executive officer Richard Hayne said the company remains “very cautious” about its prospects for the first quarter based on continued weakness at its flagship division.
“Customer reaction to the new spring fashion offerings at our Anthropologie and Free People brands has been strong, but given the continued challenges facing the Urban Outfitters brand, we remain very cautious about [Urban’s] first-quarter performance,” he said.
Hayne noted that the weather played a significant role in the quarter’s results, with the number of store days either totally or partially lost to inclement weather in the quarter rising to 312 from just 13 during the year-ago period.
Still, he was reluctant to blame the Urban unit’s difficulties on the weather, saying during a conference call late Monday that discussions about issues including weather, lingering youth unemployment and even Internet penetration were “off point. Sales correlate directly with fashion hits and misses, and I believe the Urban brand has had fewer hits than normal.”
To correct the situation at the brand, which he said had become “too siloed with too little communication across functional areas,” efforts are under way to improve procedures and policies, but that better financial results were unlikely before the close of the first quarter, with corporate earnings experiencing “significant downward pressure” during the period.
Shares closed down 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $37.51 during regular trading hours Monday.
The guarded forecast came as the Philadelphia-based specialty store reported results for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, which included revenue results that were reported on Feb. 10. Net income for the quarter rose 7.6 percent to $88.7 million, or 59 cents a diluted share, from $82.5 million, or 56 cents, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts, on average, expected earnings per share of 55 cents.
As reported, revenues were up 5.7 percent to $905.9 million from $856.8 million with comparable retail segment sales up 1 percent. Comp increases of 20 percent at Free People and 10 percent at Anthropologie were offset by a 9 percent decrease at Urban Outfitters, where net sales were down 4.2 percent to $398 million. Net sales at Anthropologie rose 11.7 percent to $374 million, and Free People was up 25.7 percent to $122.9 million.
Gross margin held steady at 36.7 percent of sales, while year-end inventories rose 10.2 percent to $311.2 million.
For the full year, net income was up 19 percent to $282.4 million as sales rose 10.4 percent to $3.09 billion.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)