Ralph Lauren Drops 4.5% after Announcing Restructuring Moves


Apr. 5 2017, Published 3:07 p.m. ET

Ralph Lauren announces a $140 million restructuring plan

Ralph Lauren (RL) stock slid 4.5% on April 4, 2017, as the fashion giant said it was considering newer approaches for its business like shutting old stores and focusing on expanding its e-commerce platform. The company said it plans to save $140 million annually by trimming its workforce and restructuring its digital operations.

RL announced the closure of its high-profile Polo store on Fifth Avenue. The store opened in 2014. It also announced entering a new agreement with Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud to efficiently move towards a more “cost-effective” and “flexible” e-commerce platform. These actions are a part of Ralph Lauren’s ongoing Way Forward Plan that aims to return the company to profitable growth.

Ralph Lauren’s CEO, Stefan Larsson, will be departing next month, and chief financial officer Jane Nielsen will lead the company until it appoints a new CEO.

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Ralph Lauren’s financial performance

Ralph Lauren’s business has been under pressure, and the company has reported seven consecutive quarters of sales declines. Total revenue fell 12% YoY to $1.7 billion in the last reported quarter as the retailer recorded a 26% YoY decline in wholesale revenue and a 5% YoY drop in sales comps.

Looking at RL’s stock market performance and valuations

RL’s stock has fallen 14% year-to-date and is trading 47% below its 52-week high price. The company is currently trading at a one-year forward price-to-earnings ratio of 15.3x versus the three-year average of 17.5x. Competitors PVH (PVH) and VF (VFC) are trading at 13.3x and 17.7x, respectively.

About Ralph Lauren

Founded in 1967, Ralph Lauren (RL) is one of the largest branded apparel companies in the US. The company is involved in designing, marketing, and distributing premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories, and fragrances. Polo Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, American Living, Chaps, and Club Monaco are some of the company’s well-known brands. The iShares Morningstar Mid-Cap Value ETF (JKI) invests 0.29% of its holdings in Ralph Lauren.

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