Francesca's Holdings Corporation FRAN has appointed Steven P. Lawrence as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He will assume his new role effective from Oct 2016. Prior to this, Steven has worked as the Chief Merchandising Officer for apparel and accessories retailer, Sage Stores Inc.
Before Sage Stores, he had been at J.C. Penney Company Inc. JCP for nearly 12 years.
Lawrence will replace Richard W. Kunes who had been serving as the interim, President and CEO of Francesca since May 2016. The company had appointed Richard Kunes after its former CEOhad retired citing personal reasons. After Steven assumes his role, Richard Kunes will assume the role of Chairman of the Board.
We expect Francesca will achieve new heights under Steven’s leadership. In his illustrious 26 years of experience, Steven has gathered an extensive knowledge in retail. He has also successfully led several teams to effectively execute strategic plans and in turn drive growth.
Francesca’ remains well positioned in the apparel sector with a long term earnings growth rate of 13.8%. The company reported positive earnings surprises in all the trailing four quarters with an average surprise of 15.4%. Moreover, the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company reported higher than expected sales for the past few quarters driven by its sales boosting initiatives like selecting compelling merchandise assortment and personalized guest experience which has been well received by the customers. The solid fundamentals of the company have made the analysts optimistic about the performance of the company. Consequently, they have raised their estimates both for 2016 and 2017.
Other Picks in the Sector
Investors interested in the shoes and apparel sector can also look into stocks which include Deckers Outdoor Corp. DECK, Iconix Brand Group, Inc. ICON both of which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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