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New York-based Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL - Analyst Report) – a designer, marketer and distributor of lifestyle products – is likely to beat expectations while reporting its fiscal 2013 third-quarter results on Feb 6.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Ralph Lauren may beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key components – Positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #2.

Zacks ESP: Ralph Lauren currently has an Earnings ESP of +0.90%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate stands at $2.24, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $2.22.

Zacks #2 Rank (Buy): Stocks with Zacks Rank #1, #2 and #3 have significantly higher chances of beating the earnings. The sell rated stocks (#4 and #5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Ralph Lauren’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and Earnings ESP of +0.90% makes us confident regarding a positive earnings beat by the company on Feb 6.

What is Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

We believe that Ralph Lauren’s initiatives to capitalize on opportunities in Asia, spurred by reduced long-term debt, augur well for the future operating performance. Moreover, Ralph Lauren leverages its globally renowned brands and premium positioning of these to bolster its well-established business in the specialty retailing sector.

With respect to earnings surprise, Ralph Lauren has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing 4 quarters with an average surprise of 10.9%, and most recently topping by 6.5% in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

Other Stocks to Consider

Ralph Lauren is not the only firm we are looking up to this earnings season. The following companies, which are also Ralph Lauren’s industry peers, are likely to beat the earnings in the to-be-reported quarter:

Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF - Analyst Report) with Earnings ESP of +5.18% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Michael Kors Holdings Limited (KORS - Analyst Report) with Earnings ESP of +5.00% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

PVH Corporation (PG - Analyst Report) with Earnings ESP of +0.67% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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