Burlington Stores, Inc. (NYSE:BURL) is doing something right as it just raised full year earnings and sales guidance after a strong holiday season. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to grow earnings by 100% this year.
Burlington Stores operates an off-price retail chain with over 450 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico.
While the company goes under the name Burlington Stores, most people know it by the name Burlington Coat Factory. In addition to coats, however, it carries clothing and shoes as well as linens, baby products and home decor.
Raised Fourth Quarter and Full Year Guidance
On Jan 9, Burlington Stores raised its fourth quarter and full year earnings and sales guidance based on a stronger-than-expected holiday season.
For the fourth quarter, which is expected to end on Jan 31, 2015, comparable store sales are expected to rise to the range of 5% to 5.5% compared to the company’s prior guidance of 3% to 4%.
That strong quarter has also boosted full year comparable store sales guidance to 4.5% from former guidance of 4%.
Earnings for the year are now projected in the range of $1.70 to $1.72 compared to the prior guidance of $1.65 to $1.67.
Analysts immediately moved to raise estimates with 6 estimates rising for fiscal 2014.
That pushed up the Zacks Consensus Estimate to $1.72 from $1.67, which is earnings growth of 100% versus last year.
But growth is expected to continue into 2015.
6 estimates have risen in the last month, with 3 in just the last week, for 2015. Analysts now expect another 30% earnings growth in fiscal 2015.
The company will likely have more insight into fiscal 2015’s outlook when it actually reports earnings in early March.
At the same time it was raising full year guidance, Burlington Stores also announced the resignation and retirement of its CFO, Todd Weyhrich. He had been CFO since 2007.
Usually, a CFO leaving isn’t a good sign for a company, but retirements obviously happen.
The company already filled the position by elevating Marc Katz, who was VP of Merchandise Support and Information Technology, so there will be no “CFO search” or questions about who is in the position.
Shares At New Highs
Investors like what they hear. Despite severe market volatility, shares of Burlington Stores have hit multiple new all-time highs in January although the company only went public in 2013.
While fundamentals are strong and the growth is there, you won’t get the shares for cheap. Burlington Stores trades with a forward P/E of 29.5 which is well above the average of the S&P 500 which is now 16.5x.
But if you’re looking for a way to play consumer strength, especially as gasoline prices come down, then Burlington Stores is one company to keep on your short list.
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