Is This Red Carpet Stock Worthy of an Oscar? Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS), Ralph Lauren Corp (RL)

Each year, I throw an Oscar party for my fashion-obsessed wife. I’ve thus come to know some of the better brands in the business, none of which interests me so much as Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS).

Kors, whose premium designs stretch from clothes to accessories found on the shelves at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s retail stores, took his company public in December 2011. The stock has soared more than 145% since, and that’s after accounting for a brief sell-off connected to a shelf registration that allowed a number of insiders, including Kors, to sell millions of dollars in stock on the open market last week.

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS)I’m not so sure that’s a good reason to avoid the stock. Why? Insiders liquidate all the time. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares sold off in the months leading up to last November, when employees and early investors were free to sell 800 million shares. The stock rallied as fears went unrealized.

Could the same happen here? Why not? Kors’ wares have rarely been more popular than they are now. According to Digital Luxury Group, Kors is the most-searched-for fashion label online, beating Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL).

The company also stands out financially when compared with its peers:

Metric Michael Kors Ralph Lauren
Revenue* $1,964.6 $6,924.4
Employees 4,180 25,000
Revenue Per Employee $470,000 $276,976
Return on Assets 38.9% 12.8%
Days Inventory Outstanding 103.2 121.2

Source: S&P Capital IQ.
*In millions.

No doubt Ralph Lauren has a great business. Yet right now, Kors is not only more popular but also performing at a higher level. You’d think that would merit a premium valuation. Instead, the stock trades for 24 times forward earnings, versus 18 for Ralph Lauren. Analysts see Michael Kors growing profits more than twice as fast as Ralph Lauren over the next five years.

My point? There’s substance to the style at Michael Kors. Those ignoring this truth may regret selling a year from now. But that’s also just my take, and you may have a different view. Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

The article Is This Red Carpet Stock Worthy of an Oscar? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Tim Beyers.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim’s Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool and owns shares of Apple and Facebook.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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