In a note to investors on Monday, Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said the Ann deal could spur activity among other apparel retailers, as valuations in the sector appear attractive, and many companies could benefit from better operations.
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According to Konik, who in January listed Ann Inc. as the top name in his coverage unit for a leveraged buyout, Chico's, Guess and Michael Kors are the remaining top candidates. By comparison, Under Armour, Ulta, Lululemon and Ross are the least attractive names.
Konik calculated 10 factors, including earnings forecasts and the takeout price premium of each company, to determine his rankings.
"While we recognize that a company as large as Kors would be a challenging takeout candidate, its [score] validates our belief that Kors shares are undervalued in the market today given the company's industry-leading growth domestically, significant white space for growth internationally and favorable competitive positioning in the accessories space," Konik wrote in January. Since market close that day, Kors shares have fallen another 14 percent.
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Teen retailers American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch—two names that are often the subject of takeover chatter—did not crack Konik's top five because of their "greater perceived fashion risk and volatility." He did not include the third "A," Aéropostale, in his analysis due to negative earnings projections for the brand through 2017.