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Shares of V.F. Corporation (VFC - Analyst Report) touched a new 52-week high of $220.38 on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013, beating its previous high of $217.69 attained on Oct 29, 2013. The shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock eventually closed trade at $219.75. The stock has gained momentum since the company announced robust third-quarter 2013 results and a hike in the quarterly dividend. This global apparel retailer has amassed a year-to-date return of 46.1%.

Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months was approximately 553.0K. Moreover, the company currently trades at a forward P/E of 20.1x, a 7.5% premium to the peer group average of 18.7x. The last traded price is 2.9% below the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $226.23. Additionally, the company’s long-term estimated EPS growth rate is 12.2%.

Investors became more optimistic on the stock after the company reported quarterly earnings per share of $3.91, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.7% and rising 11.1% from the year-ago quarter.

V.F. Corp.'s total revenue of $3,266.7 million grew 4.7% from $3,119.6 million in the year-ago period, on the back of robust growth in Outdoor & Action Sports, Jeanswear and International as well as Direct-to-Consumer revenues.

Further, boosting the stock was the company’s announcement of a 21% hike in quarterly dividend. The company will pay a dividend of $1.05 per share on a pre-split basis (recently, the company approved a four-for-one stock split) to be payable on Dec 20, 2013 to shareholders of record date as of Dec 10, 2013.

V.F. Corp’s history of positive earnings surprises make investors optimistic about the stock. We observe that the company has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the past 4 quarters by an average of 6.4%.

Going forward, we believe that with its operational efficiencies, a formidable brand portfolio and constant product innovation, V.F. Corp is well positioned to generate healthy sales. The company’s exclusive assortments remain popular among consumers and provide a competitive edge.

Apart from V.F. Corp., other retail stocks such as Nike Inc. (NKE - Analyst Report), L Brands Inc. and Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ - Analyst Report) achieved new 52-week highs of $77.32, $63.52 and $66.17, respectively, on Nov 5, 2013.

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