Urban Outfitters Inc. may be seeing an increase in sales, but its executives aren’t seeing a rise in compensation.
The retailer said sales for fiscal first quarter 2017 are so far in positive single-digit territory and said the leap year was the reason. That comment has sent the stock higher in early trading and caused many analysts to either raise their price targets or just reiterate their “buy” ratings. The stock was up more than 3 percent to $34.09 in the early session of trading.
Paul Lejuez, an analyst at Citigroup said, “We estimate comps are currently flat to up slightly, though excluding the extra day from leap year [Urban is not on the typical retail 4-5-4 calendar], comps are flat to slightly down.” He noted that his estimate for the first quarter was for sales to be down 1 percent to 2 percent. He said the earlier Easter also helped results, but that there was uncertainty over how the rest of April will play out.
Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, raised his price target from $34 to $38 even though he thinks comps will be flat for the first quarter. He thinks comparisons will grow easier in the second quarter and that should drive positive comps. He sees women’s apparel as the best category for the Urban division, while men’s remains negative.
When it comes to Anthropologie, he wrote, “It appears that customers are responding favorably to the brand’s updated spring merchandise assortment, especially dresses.” He thinks that despite apparel weakness in this division, inventory discipline, higher mark ups and better full-price selling in dresses will result in gains at the division.
The annual proxy statement also revealed that total compensation fell for chief executive officer Richard Hayne from $535,636 in 2015 to $44,310 in 2016. Hayne did not see a repeat of the $500,000 bonus received in 2015 and only receives an annual salary of $1.
David McCreight, ceo of Anthropologie Inc., saw his total compensation fall from $7.1 million in 2015 to $1.8 million in 2016. McCreight received no stock awards in 2016 versus the $4.6 million received in 2015. The non-equity incentive plan compensation declined from $1.5 million in 2015 to $886,500 in 2016.
Chief financial officer Francis Conforti got an increase in total compensation, from $1.3 million in 2015 to $2.1 million in 2016. Conforti’s stock awards jumped from $511,934 in 2015 to $1.3 million in 2016. The non-equity incentive plan compensation fell from $383,625 in 2015 to $250,000 in 2016.
The revenue goals for compensation for both Urban Outfitter Brand and the Anthropologie Brands were not met for fiscal 2016. As a result, bonuses tied to these goals were not paid.
“While the 1970’s, bohemian and wider pant leg trends resonated with early fashion adopters, they failed to gain widespread acceptance,” wrote Jaffe, “We are starting to see greater acceptance of these trends this spring, but expect more mass appeal for the back-to-school season.”