From the Associated Press:
NEW YORK — Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. fell Monday after an analyst downgraded the specialty retailer, citing signs of weakness at its Anthropologie stores. Shares fell $1.50, or 8.6 percent, to $16 in afternoon trading. They earlier set a two-year low of $15.71. Barclays Capital analyst Jeff Black lowered his rating to “Underweight” from “Equal Weight” and reduced his price target to $17 from $24. He wrote in a note to investors Monday that Urban Outfitters is an attractive long-term investment, but in the near term there are “clear signs” Anthropologie sales are slowing. Anthropologie stores are aimed at an older and more affluent demographic than Urban Outfitters namesake stores. At Anthropologie, “heavier markdowns in November are a signal that inventory is too high for the fourth quarter,” Black wrote. “We think it’s possible that the division (same-store sales will be) negative in the fourth quarter and into the first half of the year.” New-store productivity declined this year and fell significantly in the third quarter while expenses have risen, Black said.Are there a lot of markdowns at Anthropologie? Because I don’t feel like have seen any more than normal. I wonder about these analysts. Did Mr. Black (quoted in the article) go to Anthropologie himself to check out the markdowns? The thought of it is kind of funny. Regardless, this news most likely means that more markdowns are on the way.