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G-III Apparel Group, Ltd (GIII - Free Report) has turned it around by focusing on its strong retail brands. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to see double digit earnings growth in fiscal 2019.

G-III makes and distributes apparel and accessories under its own brands, private label brands and under licensed brands for department stores and specialty retailers. It operates retail stores under the DKNY, Wilsons Leather, G. H. Bass, Vilebrequin, Calvin Klein Performance and Karl Lagerfeld Paris names.

Its own brands include the powerhouses of Donna Karan, DKNY, Vilebrequin, G. H. Bass, Andrew Marc, Marc New York, Eliza J and Jessica Howard. It has fashion licenses to produce for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, Guess?, Vince Camuto, Ivanka Trump, Kensie, Levi's and Dockers brands.

It also has a team sports business with licenses for the NFL, the MBL, Major League Baseball, the NHL, Hands High, Touch by Alyssa Milano and more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities.

Record Third Quarter Sales

On Dec 5, 2017, G-III Apparel reported its fiscal third quarter 2018 results and beat the Zacks Consensus by 8.4%. Earnings were $1.67 versus the Zacks Consensus of $1.54.

It was the third earnings beat in a row.

Sales jumped 16% to $1.02 billion from $883.5 million a year ago. That was a new third quarter record and included approximately $88 million from the new DKNY and Donna Karan products.

It saw sustained momentum heading into the end of the year as products were selling well over the holiday season.

Who said the department store was dead?

Raised Full Year Guidance

Given the strong trends, it's not surprising the company raised full year guidance.

Full year earnings are now expected between $1.42 and $1.52, up from the prior guidance of $1.28 to $1.38.

That was above consensus which was at $1.36.

3 estimates have been raised in the last month, pushing the Zacks Consensus up to $1.46. That is earnings growth of just 2.7% however.

But the real gains are expected to come next year when the DKNY and Donna Karan brands really get humming.

The Zacks Consensus has jumped to $1.99 from $1.86 in the last 60 days, which is earnings growth of 36.1%.

Shares Rebounded in 2017

With the earnings picture starting to improve, investors finally dove into the shares which had sunk to new multi-year lows.



Shares were up 29% in 2017 and are now at new 52-week highs.

They're not cheap, however, with a forward P/E of 26 but investors are paying for the growth.

For investors looking for a way to invest in the comeback of the apparel retailers and department stores, then G-III Apparel is one to keep on the short list.

[In full disclosure, the author of this article owns shares of GIII.]

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