Triumphant Ascena, Debenhams and NextWednesday, 21 March 2012
Next, Debenhams and Ascena defied gloom on Tuesday,
posting better than expected sales and throwing some light upon the apparel industry.
In the half-year to 3rd March, Debenhams delivered a “resilient” performance with like-for-like sales growth of 1.4 percent (including VAT), the company said in a statement. For the second half of the year Debenhams’ priority is to continue increasing availability and choice through a multichannel offering and further expanding the brand overseas.
Also good news for Next, which is to show sales in its Next Directory surpassing the £1 billion barrier for the first time, reports the Independent. The company’s home shopping division is also expected to deliver a 16 percent increase in operating profit, to £257 million, in the year to 28th January.
In Wall Street, Ascena Retail ( ASNA ) is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) after posting five upside surprises in the last six quarters and getting higher estimates for 2012, Zacks Investment Research revealed Tuesday.
“ASNA has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in five of the last six quarters. Over the course of those five beats, Wall Street hasn't been too excited, with the stock moving less than 2.5% on four of the six beats. A beat of $0.01 in the April 2011 quarter seemed to register will Wall Street, as the stock moved higher by nearly 7%. The following quarter showed a loss of $0.01 and the stock moved lower by 0.7%.” On March 1, 2012 the company reported revenue of $862 million, this is almost y $29 million more than the Zacks Consensus Estimate and higher than the $752 million reported in the year ago period. EPS of $0.81 was $0.14 ahead of the estimate or a 21% beat. As a result the stock moved higher by 6.5%.