Meteoric sales can't last forever. While investors and analysts know that's true, there's still disappointment stemming from Michael Kors' latest earnings release. But maybe more sustainable sales growth is exactly what Kors needs for the long-run.
In its 12th quarterly report as a publicly traded retailer, the high-end handbag maker outpaced Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines, announced a $1 billion share buyback program—its first ever—and raised its fiscal third-quarter earnings forecast, but still Kors shares are selling off, recently down nearly 8 percent in midday trading.
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Kors sales guidance was not quite as bullish as some investors had hoped and sales in its biggest market are slowing, as is traffic, or the number of shoppers in its stores, according to executives on the earnings call.
"I think there's a lot of fear that the U.S. trajectory of the business is going in the wrong direction," Sterne Agee retail analyst Ike Boruchow told CNBC.
While Kors' international sales continue to grow, nearly 80 percent of the retailer's total sales originate from North America. Sales at stores open at least a year in North America grew nearly 11 percent, the slowest rate since going public in December 2011 and a far cry from the growth rate just seven quarters ago, when it topped 45 percent.