Nothing Luxurious About Coach’s Earnings; Just Ship It; Can It Get Any Better for Apple?

Not on trend…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Consumers just aren’t feeling the love for Coach, at least in the United States, as evidenced by its third quarter earnings. Those earnings can best be described as short on style and long on disappointment, as sales here took a nasty 24% dive to $493 million. Last year at this time sales hit $648 million in the U.S. As for the rest of the world, the company saw sales plunge 15% to $929 million, a far cry from the $949 million analysts were predicting. It wouldn’t be right not to put some of the blame on the strong U.S. dollar. After all, it’s the thing to do these days. But that excuse can only go so far. At least Coach managed to beat Wall Street’s profit expectations by a whole penny. Yeah you read that right. Coach’s net income came in at $81.1 million and 36 cents per share. That figure might have been somewhat impressive if not for the fact that last year at this time Coach saw a profit that was more than double at $191 million and 68 cents per share. The leather goods company better hope its $547 million Stuart Weitzman acquisition pays off as Coach has some very unflattering plans to shut down 43 shops and twelve outlets.

Brown paper packages tied up with string…

Image courtesy of tigger11th/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tigger11th/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You know whose earnings didn’t suck? Hint: Brown delivery trucks. Indeed, UPS delivered some very impressive digits, which is especially awesome considering the hit it took during the holiday season. Just how impressive were these earnings? Well, the company took in $14 billion worth of revenue, a 1.4% increase from last year. That’s a lot of packages. Actually, it’s about 1.1 billion packages, 2.8% more than last year, to be precise. Unfortunately, Wall Street analysts actually expected more from the shipping company and hoped it would reach $14.3 billion. But, oh well. No one seems to be too upset since UPS managed to score $1 billion in profits at $1.12 per share, easily taking down analyst estimates of $1.09 per share. Last year at this time UPS saw a profit of $911 million with 98 cents per share. The tricky part, however, is that even though the stock is up 14% from a year ago, it is still down 11% for the year. Strange how that works out.

Keeps getting better and better and…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apple has done it again. Yawn. The iPhone/iPad/Master of the Universe reported another epic quarter of earnings that leave just about every single other company – in the world – green with envy. With $58 billion in sales, Apple scored $13.8 billion in profits adding a very plump $2.33 per share. I guess that’s what happens when you sell 61 million iPhones. For those lucky enough to own shares of the company, their dividends went up too. The company is oozing money  – like, $194 billion of it – with $33 billion of it just in cold hard cash and the rest in investments, which, knowing Apple, will pay off handsomely. Oh, and did I mention the stock hit a new high? Well, I just did. All this, and the Apple watch barely hit the market. Have you ordered yours yet? They’re going for between $349 – $17,000. That ought to make Apple’s next earnings report a bit more interesting.

Coach Goes Shoe Shopping; Bitcoin of a Breach;

Well-heeled…

Image courtesy of biosphere/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of biosphere/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Luxury handbag and accessories maker Coach (COH) went shoe company shopping to go with all its merchandise and decided to settle on $530 million worth of Stuart Weitzman shoes. Coach announced this morning that it’s buying luxury shoe company Stuart Weitzman, which was/is actually owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners LLC, who is getting $530 million in cash for the company. But if all goes well, in that Stuart Weitzman hits its revenue goals in the next three years, Sycamore stands to gain another $44 million – a win/win for all. In 2013, the footwear maker pulled in $270 million while Coach has been undergoing some growing pains in the last couple years as it struggles to compete with trendy rivals Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Shares of Coach rose $0.46 in pre-market trading which can only mean one thing – Wall Street is totally into the purchase.

Oops! It happened again…

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bitstamp, Europe’s top bitcoin exchange had to put the kibosh on services after 19,000 bitcoins went missing. In case you were wondering…which I know you were, that’s over $5 million. No withdrawals and no deposits (which probably won’t be an issue) can be made with Bitstamp as of now, but it has reassured its customers that “their balances held prior will not be affected and will be honored in full.” Awww. that’s sweet. How very responsible and conscientious. Sort of. Apparently the exchange’s “operational wallets were compromised” which sounds like something out of a movie. The rest of the exchange’s bitcoin stash is kept in “cold storage.” And while that just sounds like the secret compartment in the back of your mother’s freezer, it’s actually a term to describe computers that aren’t connected to the internet but hold information. Like my Commodore 64 I had when I was eight.  The breach doesn’t quite have the stench of epic failure of the Mt. Gox breach collapse almost a year ago, which saw $650 million worth of the crypto-currency mysteriously disappear along with the collapse of the exchange itself.  However, the breach is still alarming enough to shake up the unregulated bitcoin universe. Bitcoins are, by the way trading in the $270 range, which is cute and all but nothing like its $1,240 peak, pre-Mt. Gox collapse, of course.

Stamp’d out…

Image courtesy of anankkml/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of anankkml/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The United States Postal Service had its best fiscal quarter in seven years. In fact, this quarter was up 18% over the same time last year.  A very impressive feat considering that volume for mail is down 26% in the last ten years. But even with that 18% increase the USPS continues to operate at a loss. Those pieces of paper to which you affix stickers with a monetary value on it – you do realize I am talking about stamped envelopes, don’t you? – have gone down in volume by a third. Even though the price for stamps kept going up and up and up… the postal service still saw $17 billion in losses in the last decade. To help recoup some of those billions, the postal service consolidated over 300 processing facilities, cut 212,000 jobs and nixed 23,000 routes. And now expect snail mail to get even snail-ier with the average delivery time going up from 1.8 days to 2.1 days.