QUOTE AND NEWS
Market Intelligence Center  May 15  Comment 
After closing Thursday at $17.84, Guess Inc. (GES) presents an attractive opportunity to get a 5.66% return in just 126 days, which is an annualized return of 16.38% (for comparison purposes only). To enter this trade, sell one Sep. '15 $17.00...
Market Intelligence Center  Apr 8  Comment 
Guess Inc. (GES) closed Tuesday at $18.92 and technical indicators recently have been bullish. Based in part on those numbers, MarketIntelligenceCenter.com's patented algorithms have identified a couple of attractive trading opportunities in Guess...
Market Intelligence Center  Apr 7  Comment 
The patented option-trade picking algorithms that power MarketIntelligenceCenter.com's Artificial Intelligence Center  are highlighting two trades on Guess Inc. (GES) today after it closed at $18.80 on Monday. For more conservative investors,...
Market Intelligence Center  Mar 23  Comment 
Friday’s trading in Guess Inc. (GES) gives options traders an opportunity for a 22.45% return. By selling the Sep. '15 $18.00 call and buying the Jan. '16 call at the $15.00 level for a net debit of $2.45, traders will book a profit as long as...
TheStreet.com  Mar 19  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Guess?  stock is up 9.05% to $18.25 in early morning trading Thursday despite Jefferies' price target reduction to $21 from $23, while maintaining its "hold" rating following the release of the apparel retailer's fourth...
Benzinga  Mar 18  Comment 
Shares of Guess?, Inc. (NYSE: GES) jumped over 10 percent in after-hours trading after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter. The Los Angeles, California-based company posted quarterly earnings of $53.9...
TheStreet.com  Mar 18  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Guess' shares are up by 10.51% to $18.50 in after-hours trading on Wednesday, following the release of the apparel company's fourth quarter earnings results, which topped analysts' expectations.The company reported...
Market Intelligence Center  Feb 2  Comment 
The patented option-trade picking algorithms that power MarketIntelligenceCenter.com's Artificial Intelligence Center are highlighting two trades on Guess Inc. (GES) today after it closed at $18.78 on Friday. For more conservative investors, look...




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

A pioneer in the designer jeans industry, Guess? (NYSE: GES). makes a variety of fashion-conscious men's and women's clothing. You can find Guess? in over 350 retail stores through out the U.S. and Europe, not to mention popular department stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's. The company also distributes its clothing through its website.

Guess? was one of the most popular denim brands of the 1980s. The company ran into a few issues, however, during the 1990s: namely pricing pressure from department stores and a trend towards baggier jeans. The latter is decidedly at odds with Guess' more European style. As Guess? struggled to adjust to changing market conditions, competing brands like, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein were poised to capitalize on the company's weakness.

In an effort to turn around its flagging fortunes, the company has begun a major push into Europe. The company's presence on the continent continues to grow rapidly; its European revenues which increased by a factor of 9 from 2003 through 2006 [1] and it expects to increase its number of European retail stores by more than 33% by the end of 2007. Guess? is also focusing on improving its margins by shifting its jeanswear business towards retail and concentrating on trendier(read higher-priced) offerings.

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Trends and Forces

Dependency on Department Stores

Department stores in the United States have undergone significant changes in recent years. In response to declining margins, stores have implemented tighter inventory controls and have scaled back the quantities of merchandise that they purchase and/or license from companies like Guess?. As a means of increasing market share, companies have also sought to differentiate themselves from the competition by demanding exclusive contracts and store-specific private labels (e.g. Ralph Lauren's "American Living" line for J.C. Penney). [2] Such dealings could weaken the control Guess? has over its brand's image.

In addition, a series of mergers and acquisitions in the industry (e.g. Federated Department Stores' 2005 takeover of Marshall Field's) give the businesses that remain potentially greater power to negotiate lower prices with Guess?, thereby lowering profit margins. For example by 2002, department stores had forced brands like Guess? to slash their prices, reducing the average price of a pair of jeans by over 50%.[3] However, Guess? may be less vulnerable to such changes as it has increased its retail operations and is now less dependent on wholesale business.

Volatility of Fashion Trends

Trends in the fashion world tend to change very quickly. Consumer tastes can vary widely from one season to the next, leading to large swings in a company's profits. As Guess? seeks to increase earnings by producing cutting-edge styles, it opens itself up to the significant risk that comes with following trends. Guess? has already experienced this firsthand, when its extremely popular jeanswear failed to transition from the skinny denim silhouette of the eighties to the baggy, urban fit of the nineties.

U.S. Economic Conditions

As over two-thirds of Guess? revenue comes from its North American operations, its bottom line is susceptible to shifts in the region's economy, especially in the United States. As rocky economic forecasts tend to damper consumer spending, the company's recent rapid growth could decline. However, as Guess? seeks to expand its growth abroad, the brand's significant international business may serve as a hedge against decreases in domestic consumer spending. With the dollar at record-low levels against the euro, the company's strong European earnings may look even attractive on its U.S. balance sheets for some time to come.

==Competilike Gap base their business on providing wardrobe basics. Brands like Polo Ralph Lauren supply consumers with a fuller range of both wardrobe staples and trendier apparel.

Within the denim business, Guess? faces fierce competition from very popular brands like Seven For All Mankind, True Religion, and Diesel. Guess? is increasingly following the industry trend towards higher-end jeanswear as it increases both the quality and the price of its denim.

Guess? vs. Competitors(2006)[4]
Guess? Gap Polo Ralph Lauren Levi Strauss & Co. [5]
Revenue (ttm) $1.47B $16.03B $4.54B $4.19B
Net income (ttm) $157.71M $759.00M $387.30M $239.00B
Quarterly revenue growth (yoy) 48.20% -0.10% 11.30% -
Gross margin (ttm) 44.82% 35.33% 54.12% 47.00%
Operating margin (ttm) 16.78% 7.57% 14.22% 15.00%
Change in same-store sales [6] 16.2%[7] 0%[8] 7.9% [9] -


  1. Guess? 2005 10K (released March 13, 2006) p. 7 and Guess? 2006 10K (released March 1, 2007) p. 7
  2. "Top fashion designers go down-market", USA Today (published September 25, 2007)
  3. How Guess Got Its Groove Back, BusinessWeek' (December 18, 2006)
  4. Unless otherwise noted, these figures were taken from Yahoo! Finance.
  5. Data from the company's 2006 10-K(released February 13, 2007)
  6. Figures compare Q2 2007 sales to Q2 2006 sales.
  7. Guess? press release: "GUESS?, INC. REPORTS RECORD SECOND QUARTER 2008 REVENUES", (released September 4, 2007)
  8. Gap press release: "GAP INC. REPORTS SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS PER SHARE OF $0.19", (released August 23, 2007)
  9. Polo Ralph Lauren Wikinvest article



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