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Shares of V.F. Corporation (VFC - Analyst Report) touched a new 52-week high of $202.35 on Monday, Aug 5, 2013 and eventually closed trade at $201.15. The stock gained momentum from the company’s better-than expected second-quarter 2013 results and its 5-year initiatives and strategies to boost shareholder returns. This global apparel retailer has amassed a year-to-date return of 35.1%.

The average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months was approximately 487K. Moreover, the company currently trades at a forward P/E of 18.4x, a 0.5% discount to the peer group average of 18.49x. The last traded price is 0.6% below the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $202.36. Additionally, the company’s long-term estimated EPS growth rate is 12.3%.

Investors became more optimistic on this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock after the company reported second-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $1.27 per share, which came above $1.11 earned in the year-ago quarter as well as the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.17.

V.F. Corp.'s total revenue of $2,220.4 million grew 4.0% compared with $2,141.8 million in the year-ago period, on the back of robust growth in Outdoor & Action Sports, international as well as direct-to-consumer revenues.

Moreover, in June, V.F. Corp had outlined its key financial targets through 2017 at an investor meet. Its goals aim at driving strong cash flow, and consequently funding acquisitions, dividends and share repurchases.

As part of its key financial targets, V.F. Corp. expects to increase revenues to $17.3 billion by 2017 and record a 5-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%, including 8% organic growth and 2% growth from acquisitions. Earnings per share through 2017 are projected to reach $18.00, reflecting a 5-year CAGR of 13%.

The company’s history of positive earnings surprises has made investors optimistic about the stock. We observe that V.F. Corp. has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the past 10 quarters by an average of 7.5%.

V.F. Corp.'s diversified brand portfolio and its brand management – with focus on developing its brands further – position the company more advantageously than its peers. Given the strength of many of its brands and the opportunities in distribution, we believe that V.F. Corp. is well poised for long-term growth.

Apart from V.F. Corp., other retail stocks such as Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY - Analyst Report), Dean Foods Co. (DF - Analyst Report) and Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM - Analyst Report) achieved new 52-week highs of $31.73, $11.48 and $37.89, respectively, on Aug 5, 2013.

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