Why Tapestry, the maker of Coach handbags, is beloved by analysts

1 week ago by Jon Marino in Facts, Trends

Shares of Tapestry ($NYSE:TPR) stock, the fashion group that used to be named for Coach, Inc. isn't having a great Friday: The stock is down about 3% in mid-day trading. 

This isn't due to any major weakness - in fact, Tapestry announced a bottom-line beat plus a $1 billion stock buyback that had the stock pop for more than 10% Thursday May 9, when it reported earnings. What's more: Wall Street analysts are crowing about the company's potential. 

So today may be a buying opportunity, instead of an indicator of weakness. Our data (and the company's) help to explain. 

Foot Traffic is Holding Up

Our Were Here Count metric measures how many check-ins, mobile device shares, and photo-location tags are made in a place related to a business with a Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) account - for Tapestry, this figure has consistently risen since the beginning of 2018, gaining more than 230% as it increased over the last 17 months. Not every high-end retailer can hold consumers' interest - some wind up seeing foot traffic fall off, as well as social engagement. 

Web Traffic is Also Solid

When your foot traffic is holding up, it's usually a good sign for business. Tapestry brands' web traffic has also seen major spikes in recent months, which investors should hope is a growing volume of consumer purchases. That's also what some analysts are expecting. UBS analyst Jay Sole noted in his Friday report that “the Coach brand is stabilizing and Kate Spade sales can double over time,” and nudged Tapestry's price target ahead by a buck, to $51-per-share. 

China, China, China (and, more China)

Tapestry renamed itself from "Coach" in 2017, an acknowledgement to the other brands in the corporate portfolio not named "Coach." Analysts are psyched about the other brands, too: Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell, who lifted his firm’s price target from $43 per share to $44 on Friday May 10, notes “improving trends at Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.”

Further, Trussell wrote, the brand has achieved “increased traction with Chinese consumers.” Make no mistake - Coach is the dominant brand in Tapestry's portfolio - the handbag maker represents fully 72% of all revenue, according to the company's earnings announcement earlier in the week. In China, that figure for Coach rises to a whopping 87% - Coach and Tapestry have for years bet big on China's growing luxury market. 

But, what could upend Coach's China sales.... is the same thing that every other US company with operations in China fear: "Continued increases in trade tensions could impact the company's ability to grow its business with the Chinese consumer globally," Tapestry said in this week's quarterly report.

The data indicates Tapestry brands have gotten themselves in front of the right customers - and, remain accessible to shoppers who cannot make it into their stores. All that could upend the brewing Tapestry rally may come not from internal weakness - but from the US' continuing trade war - so if there is a truce between Washington and Beijing, look for traders turn to the stock in a rally. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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