Forecasting the Luxury Goods Industry
Federico is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The luxury goods sector is growing fast, hand-in-hand with the growth of wealth in the developing world. Countries such as Russia,China and Brazil are creating thousands of new rich families every year. One of the many direct results of this trend -- which could last many decades -- has been the tremendous growth of high-end-luxury companies. Here I will try to forecast next quarter's results for my top three luxury goods companies.
Burberry (NASDAQOTH: BURBY) has been an incredibly successful story so far. The company has been able to reshape itself and become a symbol of British chic-elegance. The numbers speak for themselves. Last quarter's organic growth was 10% year-over-year with retail same-store-sales -- the most relevant performance figure for the industry -- up by 8%.
For the coming quarter, I expect organic growth to come as high as 5% year-over-year and retail same-store-sales to come up by 6%. The reason to expect overall growth coming at just 5% is that I expect a decline in wholesale. Regardless, the company remains extremely healthy.
Most importantly, there is huge room for margin improvement. While a company like Gucci has operating margins of 31%, Burberry has operating margins of 17%. The reason is that Burberry's operating expenses have remained high due to the upcoming changes regarding its beauty division and its business in Japan.
Trading at 2013 20 times P/E and paying a 2.95% cash dividend yield, I love this British chic-style company.
The world-wide king of luxury
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (NASDAQOTH: LVMUY), the always expanding multi-brand wine and spirits to bags and clothing holding, is my favorite large capitalization luxury goods company. The company's last quarter was a very healthy one. The group's organic growth was 10% year-over-year with fashion and leather (35% of sales and 53% of the company's profits) growing by 5%. Other parts of the group showed faster growth: Sephora, Bulgari jewelry, Dior perfumes and Hennessy are growing seriously fast.
I expect this luxury giant to show good first half 2013 results. I would expect 8% year-over-year organic growth (4% year-over-year for fashion and leather) and a broadly stable 21% operating margin.
An American classic
Tiffany & Co (NYSE: TIF) is one of the most attractive longer-term opportunities in the luxury space. In the recent quarters, Tiffany has suffered meaningful headwinds from rising commodity costs but its outlook is improving. Recent signs of improving jewelry demand along with easing commodity costs will help Tiffany's earnings come back to high growth.
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