Newport International Group

5 Clothing Stocks for 2014

The further down the list you go, the worse off retailers are feeling this year. Consumers held on to their cash for bigger items and renovations, leaving electronics, entertainment, and clothing to fill in the little gaps. That meant big brands and small all felt the crush this year, and everyone is looking forward to a brighter 2014. Even with the tough conditions, a few brands did manage to shine, setting themselves up for an excellent next year. Here are your top clothing stocks for 2014.

 

Fifth & Pacific slims down for 2014

 

Over the past three months, brand portfolio Fifth & Pacific (NYSE: FNP  ) has emptied its portfolio. The company sold off Juicy Couture in October and dropped Lucky Brand just this month. The result is a slimmed down, ready to roll Kate Spade business. Kate has been killing it this year, and was hampered by the fall of Juicy. Now free to spread its wings, Fifth & Pacific is going into 2014 with a completely different business.

 

Kate Spade is one of the few brands that came out way ahead in 2013. The brand's revenue grew 76% last quarter over 2012, driven by comparable sales growth of 31%. That speed puts it in the same boat as Michael Kors, but Fifth & Pacific has the benefit of experience.

 

By shrinking the business, management now has less to focus on, giving it the chance to push Kate Spade and sister brand Kate Spade Saturday as hard as it wants. The business got an influx of cash from the brand sell-off, and is realizing a return from lease terminations, as well. The combination of strong sales, strong management, and a growing pile of resources makes Fifth & Pacific a 2014 winner.

 

Nike keeps on teaching the world to love sports

 

If Fifth & Pacific is the growth opportunity in clothing next year, Nike (NYSE: NKE  ) is the stable riser. The business commands a $15 billion brand and is shooting for $36 billion in annual sales by 2017. Last quarter, Nike increased revenue by 8% and expanded its gross margin at an even faster rate. That led to a 37% increase in earnings per share.

 

Want dividends -- Nike's got you covered there, too. Nike has increased its annual dividend for 12 years in a row, giving investors some stability. Consistent growth has been Nike's trademark, and the goal for 2017 just underscores what this company is capable of.

 

In 2014, the business is expecting double-digit revenue growth in its newer markets, like China and Eastern Europe. That's going to help Nike hit its 2015 milestone of $30 billion in annual sales, up from $25.3 billion in fiscal 2012. In short, 2014 is the launching point for Nike, and investors look set to be well rewarded by its flight.

 

Taking the long view at VF Corporation

 

While the scope isn't as broad as at Nike, the plan is no less ambitious over at VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC  ) . The owners of The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler, and other household names has its own 2017 plan. While Nike is planning to grow overall revenue by 42% over five years, VF is hoping to jump 59% by 2017. VF has a goal of hitting $17 billion in 2017, up from just $10.9 billion in 2012.

 

The company is going to make the push based on the strength of its brands. The North Face is at the head of the pack, growing revenue by 10% last year. The brand has shown an incredible ability to appeal to both athletes and casual wearers, and has given the company a real fashion icon to help lead its sales push.

 

In 2014, look for VF to inch up its operating margin, as the business continues to coalesce. The company is updating its sales technology, addressing its marketing issues, and pushing fashion into some of its older brands, like Lee jeans. That should help boost revenue and keep investors happy all year long.

 

Controversy may have finally died off at Lululemon

 

If you want to take a higher risk shot in 2014, lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU  ) might be the place for you. The company got crushed this month on a poor outlook, but there are lots of things going right for Lululemon, as well. The business finally ditched its loudmouthed founder, a new CEO has been chosen, and its most recent product issue may be on the way to a resolution under the new head of product.

 

When it comes down to the wire, this may be what investing is all about. There's a fine line between success and failure here, and Lululemon is over halfway to the failure side. After building a community of yoga practitioners, founder Chip Wilson says something akin to 'we don't sell clothes for fat people' a few months after selling overly sheer pants to everyone, and the community revolts.

 

Now Lululemon is looking down the barrel of flat comparable sales in its fourth quarter. That's not the year that the company was supposed to have. Luckily, it might not be the year that 2014 brings it. New CEO Laurent Potdevin comes to Lululemon from TOMS, a shoe business built on the value of community and goodwill. Before that, he worked at Burton Snowboards, where he learned the value of technical product design. If anyone can right Lululemon's ship, its Potdevin -- 2014 is his chance to prove his mettle.

 

Finishing on a high note with Under Armour

 

You didn't really want to end on Lululemon, right? Under Armour (NYSE: UA  ) is the glorious thorn in everyone's side. It's a growth stock like Fifth & Pacific, it's Nike's best competition, it rivals The North Face for college fashion value, and it sells all of the things Lululemon makes for about 15% less.

 

The company increased its full-year outlook earlier this year, expecting a 22% to 23% increase in revenue. The company continues to drive its brand on its reputation for innovation. This year, the company introduced a new ColdGear line which contains ceramic to help insulate you -- I have no idea how that works. Fortunately, my failures at science haven't held the company back, and the new line is off to a roaring start.

 

In 2014, Under Armour is going to be releasing new footwear lines, working to integrate its in-store and direct-to-consumer marketing, and expanding its gross margin as its supply chain settles into a routine. For investors, Under Armour offers a lot of great potential with a proven track record of turning neat ideas into cold hard cash -- 2014 should be no different.

 

The bottom line

 

Whether you're looking for a grower, a solid player, or a bit of a risk, there's something for every investor in 2014. Macroeconomic conditions may make a positive turn, but even if they don't, these five brands have the potential to turn lemons into lemonade. No matter what you decided to do in 2014, retail investors should be happy to see 2013 disappear into the mist.

 

The value of investing in 2014

 

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Newport International Group: Warum junge Sparer Tracker Fonds kaufen

Wie Millionen von Menschen in ihren Dreißigern rettet Rob Poole für seine Rente an der Börse zu investieren.

 

Es ist ein vernünftiger Gedanke. Der Arzt kam in Südwest-London, muss mindestens drei Jahrzehnten der Ebbe und Flut in Aktien zu investieren, so eine hohe Wahrscheinlichkeit besteht der schlagen der mageren Renditen von Bargeld-Sparkonten ausreiten.

 

Aber anstelle der Zahlung einer teuren Fondsmanager einen Korb von Aktien zu wählen, hat er beschlossen, einfach, "die Gesamtleistung der einzelnen Aktienmärkte track".

 

Das klingt merkwürdig für ältere Sparer, aber Herr Poole ist Teil einer Generation von Jugendlichen, die den Stadt Kommissioniergeräte Rücken hat.

 

Forschung von The Sunday Telegraph festgestellt, dass die durchschnittliche Saver von Mittdreißigern jetzt ein Drittel ihrer Investment-Portfolio in den so genannten "passiven" Fonds hat.

 

In einigen Fällen haben Sparer wie Herr Poole ihre gesamte Nest-Eier aus Mitteln, die Ausführung von professionellen Fondsmanagern für EDV-gestützte Alternativen namens "Verfolger" verschoben.

 

Die passive Tracker Fonds folgen Sie blind ein Aktienindex, z. B. der FTSE 100. Das bedeutet Ihr Fonds steigt und fällt neben den Index – also wenn der FTSE 100 2pc eines Tages steigt, Ihre Investition durch den gleichen Rand wachsen, weniger Gebühren.

 

Tracker sind von einem Computer ausgeführt, anstatt hoch bezahlt Fondsmanager. Die Maschine wird eine Auswahl von Aktien kaufen, die so genau wie möglich, die Zusammensetzung der Unternehmen in einem bestimmten Index entspricht. Dies bedeutet, dass sie eine viel billigere Methode zum Zugriff Börse Wachstum, sind, da gibt es kein Honorar für Menschen, die Auswahl von Aktien.

 

Vielleicht möchten lesen:

Burberry tut es in Stil und trifft eine hohe

Mode-Ikonen Dolce Gabbana in Italien Steuer Straftat verurteilt

 

Es schränkt das Potenzial eine riesige Rückkehr von einer Handvoll von rassig Aktien zu verdienen. Aber es vermeidet auch einen einzelnen Aktien-Preis-Crash zerstören Ihre Rendite.

 

Ein Tracker kostet weniger als 0.15pc pro Jahr, während ein aktiv gemanagten Fonds näher 1.7pc aufgeladen wird. Also muss im Endeffekt ein Fondsmanager eine zusätzliche 1.45pc Rückkehr jedes Jahr finden die höheren Gebühren zu rechtfertigen. Untersuchungen zeigen, dass viele nicht, dies auf einer regelmäßigen Basis zu erreichen.

 

Herr Poole überprüft seine Investitionen vor der Geburt seines ersten Kindes, Ben, 18 Monaten und war schockiert, wie viel seine Ersparnisse das durchschnittliche Wachstum der Aktienmärkte unterdurchschnittlich waren.

 

Er erkannte schnell, dass die Fondsmanager für die hohe Gebühren zu rechtfertigen, die seine Rückkehr entfernt aßen versäumt wurden. Er wechselte zum Tracker Fonds und hat nun mehrere tausend mit Anbietern wie Vanguard investiert.

 

"Ich in Fonds investiert laufen von einem Fondsmanager für ein paar Jahre aber Ben kam ich vorher zu prüfen, die Wissenschaft davon alle," sagte Herr Poole.

 

"Es wurde klar, dass es kaum eine anständige Fondsmanager um. Ich habe beschlossen, das meiste war Glück, anstatt Skill-also zog ich habe mein Geld, um Kosten zu sparen."

 

Dies ist eine gemeinsame Haltung unter jüngere Sparer.

 

Großbritanniens größte Fonds-Supermarkt, Hargreaves Lansdown, erklärte The Sunday Telegraph, durchschnittlich Kunden von Mittdreißigern 10pc mehr Teil ihres Portfolios in passive Fonds als Anleger Rentenalter nähern.

 

Der Fonds-Supermarkt sagte jüngere Sparer, die fünf oder sechs mal mehr Tracker im Durchschnitt als die in den siebziger Jahren statt.

 

Daten vom Anteil entfernt, Börsenmakler, malte ein ähnliches Bild: die Firma sagte, neun der Top-10-Fonds von den Minderjährigen dreißiger Jahren im August gekauft Tracker Fonds waren. Lesen Sie mehr

Newport International Group: International Fashion & Style

 

International Fashion & Style; Daks ... London FW Spring 2014 (Photos)

 

Daks is a brand that most will not recall. The reason being is that you have to be of a certain age to know that Daks was a leader in the raincoat business at about the same time Burberry was only known as a maker of raincoats. Daks was a constant presence in advertising and was considered to be amongst the more prestigious of manufacturers and I believe they were only in the men’s business. Okay, history lesson fini!

 

Fast forward to the 21st century and we have a rehabilitation of the brand as well as hopes for a resuscitation of the brand. There have been glimmers of hope that Daks can possibly follow in the tracks of its sister brand Burberry and this season provides a look into further possibilities of that happening.

 

The collection offers a certain chic and raffine quality that is a very welcomed sight during these times of trend driven collections. The clothes are classic without being boring and the presentation certainly belied the brand’s renaissance as the clothes are self-assured and more the product of a brand that has been already been established for some time … THINK VERY Michael Kors. The more conservative trademark plaid that is the Daks DNA is put to good use without being offensive. The georgette capes are a bit de trop at times but do have a redeeming quality when used effectively. There is a great feeling of clean sportswear… some lean some more fluid.

 

If Mr. Scuffi can build from this presentation, the brand can certainly emerge as a formidable contender in the prestige brand category. Will it be the blockbuster that is Burberry?? … I doubt it, but it surely has a place with those who are not as trend driven as the “larger plaid’s” client.

 

Keep your eye on this one … it’s a 50/50 shot, but it might just turn out to be the next mega brand.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/international-fashion-style-daks-london-fw-spring-2014

Suspicious bidding, Newport International Group probe

Source

 

Steven Berman, son of a Baltimore banker, swept into the District during the height of the housing boom, flush with money and ready to take on hundreds of bidders at the city’s high-stakes tax lien auction.

 

From 2005 to 2007, Berman’s companies dominated the bidding room, spending millions to buy the liens placed on properties when owners fall behind on their taxes.

 

He was a big player at tax lien auctions in Maryland, too, where he was caught in 2007 rigging bids at sales across the state, leading to the largest criminal conspiracy case of its kind at the time.

 

At the District’s auctions, no one was watching.

 

A Washington Post investigation found that during Berman’s spectacular spending spree in the city, his companies engaged in dozens of rounds of irregular bidding similar to what federal agents had discovered in Maryland.

 

All told, six companies, three owned by Berman, took turns winning hundreds of liens on real estate worth $540 million through unusual back-and-forth patterns of bidding never detected by city government.

 

Of hundreds of participants, only those six companies stood out for bidding that was so irregular that the odds of it happening by chance were less than 1 in 1,000, according to The Post’s analysis, which was conducted with a team of economists and antitrust experts from Boston.

 

Once the liens were won, the companies charted an aggressive course through the District that would shake families for years to come, pressing to foreclose on homes in every ward — often over tax debts of $500 or less.

 

The patterns call into question the city’s vigilance in policing tax auctions at a time when the industry is under intense scrutiny, with a dozen tax lien purchasers pleading guilty to rigging auctions across the country.

 

“Where is the protection for people?” said Sylvia Richins, whose ailing mother’s house in Northwest Washington was targeted for foreclosure by a Berman company. “It just doesn’t seem fair or right.”

 

Berman, 55, who pleaded guilty in federal court in Maryland to criminal conspiracy, declined requests for comment about his activities in the District.

 

Officials from the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue said no purchasers have ever stepped forward with allegations of bid rigging and that federal agents in Maryland did not contact the District with concerns.

 

“There’s no evidence that they’re doing it here,” said deputy chief financial officer Stephen Cordi.

 

The tax office said the bidding patterns identified by The Post are not “sufficient to determine that there is collusion among bidders” or any quid pro quo.

“This information, on its own, does not inform us about any collusion activities, nor is it sufficient to reject the existence of such collusion,” the agency said in a statement.

 

But Berman’s lawyer revealed in court three years ago that his client had not only told investigators about suspicious activities at Maryland’s auctions, but at the District’s, too.

 

“There was a sincere effort on Mr. Berman’s part to help,” attorney Geoffrey Garinther said at Berman’s sentencing.

In addition, Berman admitted to federal investigators that during the District’s auction in 2007, he had talked about divvying up liens with a top competitor. A “cooperative effort,” according to an FBI report obtained by The Post.

 

Cordi said if bid rigging had occurred, it would not have deprived the city of money or affected property owners.

 

“There’s no harm to the District, and I don’t think there is any harm to the owner,” he said.

 

But The Post analysis showed that five of the six companies that engaged in irregular bidding have hauled hundreds of homeowners to court, with one of the firms demanding legal fees that were so high, the city’s attorney general called them “predatory” and “unlawful” and pushed to stop the company in court.

 

Howard Liggett, former executive director of the National Tax Lien Association, said the District had an obligation to investigate after the problems in Maryland came to light — and set up safeguards for the future.

 

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2013/09/09/suspicious-bidding