The Buzz

All markets and investing news all the time

Romney likes The North Face. Investors? Not so much.

October 22, 2012: 11:45 AM ET

Strong sales of Timberland boots weren't enough to offset investor concerns about a slowdown at VF Corp.'s North Face brand of outerwear.

Call it the curse of the GOP? CNNMoney did a piece last week noting how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have been both photographed wearing North Face jackets on the campaign trail.

But even though these heroes of the red states seemed to be endorsing the comfort of The North Face's fleece, investors in North Face's parent company were seeing red after disappointing sales.

VF Corp. (VFC), which owns The North Face as well as the Timberland boots brand and Lee and Wrangler jeans, sank as much as 7% Monday morning following its earnings report. The stock was down about 4% in late morning trading.

Although VF's profits were better than expected, investors seemed spooked by the fact that revenues missed estimates by a tiny margin.

That had some traders on StockTwits worried about future sales for VF, as well as rivals like Ralph Lauren (RL) and PVH (PVH), the owner of the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein lines of apparel.

retail_guru: Two bones to pick in VF Q. North Face sales slowed from +16% in Q2 to +8% in Q3. Still,$VFC expects a pick-up to 13-15% in Q4 $RL $PVH

Shares of Ralph Lauren and PVH both dipped Monday as well.

But one trader pointed out that it wasn't all doom and gloom for VF. The company raised its dividend and did report solid gains in its footwear unit.

tickertutor: $VFC ... tremendous growth from Timberland segment

Good point. And when you look closely at VF's report, the company also did raise its outlook for the year. So perhaps the stock was falling Monday because expectations were unreasonably high, and not because of concerns about fundamentals. After all, VF Corp. has been a phenomenal stock as of late. Shares are up more than 26% in 2012.

But traders also debated the quality of VF's guidance, with one trader noting that the outlook isn't that great after all when you factor our currency fluctuations.

BrianSozzi: Strip out currency outlook change and include beat, $VFC guidance raise not really a raise #riskStill, another trader noted that in this market, merely meeting estimates should be rewarded.

stephanie_link: @briansozzi think it makes sense for all cos to be conservative. in line guide is sort of a victory in this environment. $VFC.

Finally, VF Corp. may be getting hurt by the problems on a certain debt-laden continent. That's going to be an issue for many consumer companies over the next few months.

strategymizer: $VFC Eu-Rope is the profit killer

Maybe Angela Merkel, Antonis Samaras and Mariano Rajoy need to start wearing more Wrangler jeans, Timberland boots and North Face sweatshirts.

Join the Conversation
Fear & Greed
Sponsored by
About This Author
Paul Lamonica
Paul R. La Monica
Assistant Managing Editor, CNNMoney

Paul R. La Monica is an assistant managing editor at CNNMoney. He is the author of the site's daily column, The Buzz, and also tweets throughout the day about the markets and economy @LaMonicaBuzz. La Monica also oversees the site's economic, markets and technology coverage.

To view my watchlist

Not a member yet?

Sign up now for a free account
Stupid Stock Move of the Day
#StupidStock Move of the Day! Yes, Urban Outfitters may be finally turnings things around. But $URBN up 17%? Seems a bit excessive, no?
Most Popular
Powered by VIP.