Mulberry, Nike and G-III stood on their own on Thursday , becoming main characters in both European and American stock markets. In the meantime, Asia proved once more to be the most resilient alternative for luxury firms.
In London, Mulberry Group left the losers team to post pretax profit of 15.6 million pounds ($24.5 million) in the six months to September 30, up 231 percent. That compares with 12 million pounds forecast by Altium Securities. Market expectations range between 28 million and 30 million pounds for the full year, with the average forecast at 29.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. Shares in Mulberry, which have risen more than 60 percent this year, rose 2.3 percent to 1,525 pence -- compared with a 0.3 percent rise in the FTSE All Shares Index .FTAS -- valuing the business at almost 900 million pounds. Companies like Burberry, Hugo Boss and Prada have continued to strike an upbeat tone on Asia in recent weeks, despite the havoc that debt woes in the euro zone have wreaked on investor sentiment.
Meanwhile, Kate McShane of Citi Investment Research raised her price target for Nike Inc. on Wednesday, saying the world's biggest athletic shoe and clothing company is getting a revenue lift from emerging markets, price increases and new footwear innovations. In a client note, the analyst said that Nike likely saw better-than-expected business in Europe during the second quarter based. She cited rival Foot Locker Inc.'s report of positive European results last month and the report by Adidas of wholesale and retail sales increases for Europe in its third quarter. Looking ahead, McShane said that Nike stands to benefit from price hikes of 5 percent to 7 percent, which won't be seen in stores until 2012. The analyst boosted Nike's price target to $113 from $101 and reaffirmed a "Buy" rating. Nike shares closed at $96.25 per share on Tuesday, near their 52-week high of $97.68.
Finally, Shares of G-III Apparel Group were gapping up Thursday morning with an open price 17.9% higher than Wednesday's closing price. The stock closed at $20.36 Wednesday and opened today's trading at $24.01. The average volume for G-III Apparel Group has been 278,700 shares per day over the past 30 days.