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Shares of V.F. Corporation (VFC - Analyst Report) touched a new 52-week high of $204.94 on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 and eventually closed trade at $203.32. The stock has gained momentum since the company announced initiatives and strategies to enhance its performance amid a soft economic scenario. This global apparel retailer has amassed a year-to-date return of 37.2%.

Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months was approximately 488.2K. Moreover, the company currently trades at a forward P/E of 18.6x, a 5.8% premium to the peer group average of 17.58x. The last traded price is nearly 1.0% below the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $205.29. Additionally, the company’s long-term estimated earnings per share (EPS) growth rate is 12.3%.

Investors continue to remain optimistic about this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock after the company declared the opening of three Global Innovation Centers to concentrate on developing revolutionary product innovations in technical apparel, footwear and jeans.

The upsurge in stock also reflects the company’s positive earnings momentum. We observe that V.F. Corp. has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the past 10 quarters by an average of 7.5%. In the last concluded the earnings per share outdid the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.6% and provided an impressive guidance for fiscal 2013.

Adjusted earnings of $1.27 per share came above $1.11 earned in the year-ago quarter as well as the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.17. Following better-than-expected results, V.F. Corp. raised its fiscal 2013 earnings guidance to $10.85 per share from $10.75, forecasted earlier.

Earlier, V.F. Corp had outlined its key financial targets through 2017 at an investor meet held on Jun 11 that also helped the stock gaining momentum. Its announced goals are aimed 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, recording 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%.

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 Boston Beer Co. Inc. (SAM - Analyst Report), Hillenbrand, Inc. and Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (FDP - Snapshot Report) achieved new 52-week highs of $250.00, $28.12 and $30.82, respectively, on Sep 20, 2013.


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