Francesca's Updates Fiscal Outlook Post Solid Holiday Season

Following a better-than-expected holiday season, specialty retailer Francesca's Holdings CorporationFRAN has recently updated its guidance for the fourth quarter ending Jan 28, 2017. Stocks rallied 7.5% on Jan 9, 2016, after the company declared its expanded profit outlook.

Francesca now anticipates net sales for fourth-quarter 2016 to be in the range of $144-$146 million, compared with a range of $143-$148 million, assumed previously. The guidance implies a 1% increase to a 1% decrease in comps during the period. Earlier, management expected low-single digit decrease to low-single digit increase in comparable sales for the fourth quarter.

Further, the company expects fourth quarter earnings to be in the range of 35-37 cents compared with a range of 33-37 cents, anticipated earlier. Full-year 2016 earnings per share are now expected to be in the range of $1.05-$1.07 compared with a range of $1.03-$1.07, expected previously.

The updated guidance followed solid sales results during the holiday season. Management also stated that it is on track to deliver in-line sales and earnings results during fourth-quarter 2016. Notably, while other apparel retailers that operate in the same space have struggled with dwindling comps as more and more consumers opted to shop online, the holiday season still had some cheers left for the women apparel and accessories retailer Francesca's.

The company's performance has portrayed a promising picture so far. The company has reported positive surprises in the trailing four quarters with an average surprise of 26.6%. Analysts expect earnings to grow by 15.8% to $1.07 and 10.9% to $1.18 for fiscal 2016 and 2017, respectively. The shares of the company have gained 50.8% in the last six months outperforming the Zacks categorized Shoes and Retail Apparel industry which declined by 6.2% in the same time frame.

Francesca's currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see

the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Other Stock Picks

Other favorably placed stocks in the broader consumer discretionary sector are Perry Ellis International Inc. PERY , Belmond Limited BEL and Tailored brands Inc. TLRD .

Both, Tailored Brands and Belmond Limited sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has an expected earnings growth of 17.5% and 14.3%, respectively. Perry Ellis carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has an average earnings surprise of 19.5% in the trailing four quarters.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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