Shares of Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN) were moving higher today after the lifestyle brand posted strong comparable sales for its fourth quarter, and total sales that beat analyst estimates. As a result, the stock closed up 5.8% today.
Urban said total net sales for the quarter grew 5.7% to $1.09 billion, edging out expectations at $1.08 billion. Comparable sales increased 4% in its retail segment, driven by double-digit growth in online sales, which outweighed negative store-based sales. All three of its major brands saw comps rise, with an 8% jump in Free People, 5% increase in Anthropologie, and 2% uptick at Urban Outfitters.
Wholesale revenue increased 6.3% in the quarter.
CEO Richard Hayne noted that the company's sales growth actually accelerated after the holiday season, saying, "Positive comps were driven primarily by stronger apparel sales with January registering particularly powerful year-over-year results."
Urban Outfitters' report comes after retailers broadly reported strong holiday sales, and is the first indication that that trend seemed to continue into the new year. Shares of the apparel and lifestyle company have now doubled since hitting bottom last summer as the company's financial performance has steadily improved, especially on the strength of the Free People brand.
Urban Outfitters will release its complete fourth-quarter earnings report on March 6, when investors will gain insight into how the strong sales growth affected the bottom line. Analysts are expecting a per-share profit of $0.62, up from $0.55 a year ago.
10 stocks we like better than Urban Outfitters
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Urban Outfitters wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
Click here to learn about these picks!
*Stock Advisor returns as of February 5, 2018