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Shares of PVH Corp. (PVH - Analyst Report) reached a new 52-week high of $136.32 on Dec 26, 2013. This branded apparel designer and retailer eventually closed at $134.97 on the last trading day, amassing a year-to-date return of roughly 20.9%. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months stands at approximately 875.1K.

This N.Y.-based retailer currently trades at a forward P/E of 19.2x, a 3.1% premium to the peer group average of 18.63x. The last traded price is 5.3% below the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $142.55.

An impressive record of beating the quarterly earnings expectations, sustained focus on brand building, asset management, global expansion and effective implementation of business strategies mainly drove the strong appreciation of PVH shares.

PVH Corporation’s earnings surprise history shows it has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last 20 quarters with an average beat of 11.6%, including a positive surprise of 2.22% in the previous quarter.

PVH Corporation posted third-quarter fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings of $2.30 per share, beating its own guidance of $2.25 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.26. The upside was primarily driven by strong revenue growth from the acquisition of The Warnaco Group, Inc. and improved margins. During the quarter, total revenue rose 37.5% to $2,259.1 million from $1,642.8 million in the prior-year quarter.

The company’s focus on brand building is evident from PVH Corp.’s emphasis on developing its higher-margin businesses, led by the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, rather than lower-margin products to drive long-term growth and enhance shareholder value.

To achieve this, it recently divested all the assets of its G.H. Bass & Co. division to a subsidiary of G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (GIII - Snapshot Report). The deal fetched PVH Corp. nearly $50 million of cash.

This Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company also formed a joint venture (JV) with Gazal Corporation Limited in early October to expand the footprint of its Calvin Klein brand across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific nations and islands.

Backed by its strong brand portfolio and its recent acquisition of Warnaco, PVH Corp. expects its non-GAAP earnings per share to increase over 15% in 2014 and onwards. The company, with its associates, brands and financial strength is well positioned to achieve accelerated growth and generate positive returns for its shareholders.

With the aforementioned strategies, we believe PVH Corp. is moving in the right direction, which will help it exploit opportunities in the lifestyle apparel market.

Apart from PVH Corp., retail stocks such as V.F. Corp. (VFC - Analyst Report) and Whirlpool Corp. (WHR - Analyst Report) achieved new 52-week highs of $62.19 and $157.22, respectively, on Dec 26, 2013.

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