Hugo Boss falls the most in Europe

Thursday, 29 May 2014
In Europe, main markets stumbled Wednesday, dragged down by poor employment figures in Germany. Meanwhile, US stocks barely moved on Wednesday and kept the S&P 500 near its newest intraday record.

Data earlier showed unemployment in Germany unexpectedly rose for the first time in six months with the number of people out of work rising by a seasonally adjusted. The macroeconomic hint weighted the larger Eurozone´s stock markets.

Still in Germany, Hugo Boss AG fell 1.8 percent after private equity investor Permira sold a 5.6 percent stake in the German fashion retailer. Permira will nevertheless remain the largest shareholder with a 55.62 percent stake.

On a separate note, Europe's biggest online fashion retailer Zalando is appointing the former boss of Deutsche Telekom to its board as well as three employee representatives as it changes its legal structure amid preparations for a possible flotation. Former Telekom Chief Executive Kai-Uwe Ricke would join the company's supervisory board.

Across the Pond, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd gained 1 percent to 96.67 dollars on the company's announcement of strong quarterly earnings. Sales of its handbags and watches surged in North America although the company warned that it expected the cost of opening new stores in Europe to depress gross margins in the next few quarters.

In contrast, footwear retailer DSW lost more than a fourth of its market value after the company missed estimates on its results and outlooks. The stock sank 27.6 percent to 23.54 dollars.

Meanwhile, “even as Gap Inc managed to register positive comparable sales growth in Q1 fiscal 2014 amid an unconducive retail environment; its earnings were very disappointing. Weighed down by unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations as well as high COGS (cost of goods sold) and occupancy expenses, the retailer’s earnings per share slumped 18.3 percent to 0.58 dollars, marking the first instance of EPS decline in the last three years,” commented the analysis team at Trefis after the fashion retailer posted its quarterly results Wednesday.

Despite the adverse currency exchange rates, Gap Inc’s earnings per share (EPS) beat the consensus estimate of 0.57 dollars, as reported by ‘Forbes’.

In a call with analysts and press, Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO at GAP, detailed that the company could have done better on several facets, such as customer communication, inventory management and the timing of product launches. “However, given Gap Inc’s rich history of strong company-customer connection, it appears to be well equipped to recover from this fumble in the near future,” stressed Trefis.

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