Shares of Urban Outfitters continued a generally bullish trend last week after the Philadelphia-based apparel retailer's report earlier this month of record sales and earnings that beat expectations.
Urban Outfitters' $1.01 billion in fourth-quarter revenue was a 12 percent year-over-year increase and in line with analysts' expectations. Net income for the quarter was $80.2 million, or 60 cents a share, up a penny a share from the year-ago period and 3 cents better than the consensus estimate.
Jim Cramer, portfolio manager of the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust, said in a recent post on The Street's RealMoney.com:
"We are now in leader-versus-laggard zone, and that's one of the most fraught moments in investing. In other words, after a big run in the best groups for the year, now you have to decide: When you buy something, do you buy a stock that's already soared and might be tapped out, or do you buy something that hasn't moved much at all and might be suspect or has just been left behind for no real good reason? . . ."
"Urban Outfitters would be the company that now has the strongest fundamentals in the industry. It is a three-legged beast: Free People, which has always been strong; Anthropologie, with a fantastic new home-furnishing look, and Urban, the namesake business which has gone from negative to positive comps helped by a really terrific new set of designs. The transformation is stupendous.
"But so is the stock. It's up an astounding 26.73 percent, besting all retailers. You would now be coming into the retailer with the most momentum in the country by far, yet with a stock that you have to believe reflects a tremendous amount of what has transpired."
Bob Lang, co-portfolio manager of Trifecta Stocks, called Urban Outfitters "one of the best retailer charts out there, this stock has held its gap and continues to build a nice bull flag in the mid-40s range. The MACD [moving average convergence divergence] buy signal is still in effect and the momentum indicators show an overbought stock, but that is no reason to sell."
Shares in the South Jersey-based retailer Burlington Stores responded positively last week after BMO Capital Markets raised its price target to $65, from $50, while maintaining its "outperform" rating.
"We continue to see upside to Burlington shares, given the top-line momentum, opportunities to improve inventory productivity, and room for significant margin enhancement as productivity levels come closer in line with peers," analysts said.
BMO believes the company picked up momentum through its 2014 fiscal fourth quarter and is carrying it into its 2015 first quarter. Plus, BMO said, the home category, a weak link for Burlington, continued to show positive momentum as a result of refocused efforts.
Analysts lowered 2015 first-quarter earnings estimates to 43 cents per share from 46 cents, given the pull forward of sales into the fourth quarter out of the first quarter from earlier tax refunds, as well as bad February weather.