The stock market is in turmoil and looking for help from buyers. While some are calling for investors to run to the exits, I look at weakness and market chaos as a buying opportunity.
It’s simply unrealistic to think that all stocks deserve to fall during a market adjustment like what we are seeing at this time. There are good companies out there that will stage a strong rally when the tide in the stock market turns.
In the retail sector, we saw a gasp of air from troubled J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE/JCP), as the former retail sector and Wall Street darling struggles to stay afloat. With about $2.0 billion or so of liquidity left, it’s going to be a race against the clock. J. C. Penney reported a 3.1% jump in comparable-store sales during the holiday shopping season, which is a good result for this turnaround play. (I’d rather stick with these two contrarian retail sector plays, though, which you can read about in “These Retail ‘Screw-ups’ Could Turn Things Around This Year.”)
My top luxury play in the retail sector, as many of you know, is Michael Kors Holdings Limited (NYSE/KORS).
In November 2013, I wrote, “The chart of Michael Kors shows the steady upward trend in the stock since the beginning of 2012. There is some congestion and resistance at this time…but we are seeing a bullish ascending triangle and a possible upside breakout on the horizon, based on my technical analysis.” The stock was up 20% Tuesday morning. (Read “My Favorite Pick Among the Luxury Brand Stocks.”)
It’s obvious why Michael Kors is the top retail sector stock, according to my analysis. The seller of high-end handbags, clothing, and accessories is firing on all cylinders against its rivals.
In the fiscal third-quarter earnings season, Michael Kors delivered a massive 57% year-over-year jump in sales to $1.0 billion and destroyed the earnings estimate after reporting earnings of $1.11 per diluted share, a whopping $0.25 above the Thomson Financial consensus estimate. The key comparable-store sales surged 28% year-over-year. Remember J. C. Penney with its three-percent jump? Now you know why Michael Kors is very much the gold standard in the retail sector.
And unlike rival Coach, Inc. (NYSE/COH), Michael Kors is faring extremely well domestically, with revenues surging 51% in North America, including a 24% jump in comparable-store sales. And in troubled Europe, the company’s products are sizzling hot, with revenue growth of 144% and comparable-store sales growth at a staggering 73% in the third quarter.
Clearly, Michael Kors is king in the retail sector.