Stocks quoted in this article:
Liz Claiborne (LIZ – 46-5/16) makes upscale business attire for women. The company sells its brands in department stores and in nearly 250 specialty shops. Last night after the close, the retailer said that its fourth-quarter and year 2000 sales and earnings numbers will likely meet estimates. Analysts are expecting the firm to earn 95 cents per share for the final quarter of the year. The company will report its figures in mid-February.
This news was clouded, however, by the company's prediction that earnings for the first half of 2001 will be more "modest" than the numbers for 2000. Total sales growth for this year will likely fall in the 5-7 percent range, as opposed to 2000, when earnings growth came in between 10 and 11 percent.
Technically speaking, LIZ shares have been rallying steadily since their December 15 bottom. In just over a month, the equity has appreciated more than 22 percent. This surge higher has been guided by the security's ascending 10-day moving average. The stock is currently two points away from its former annual high, which was achieved in late April.
Options are available for LIZ but are very thinly traded. The site of heaviest open interest is the July 50 call, home to 241 open contracts.