Investors are keying on Gildan Activewear's fourth-quarter miss, foregoing 2008 guidance, weighing the stock down $2.10 or 5.3 per cent to $37.47 just after 11 a.m. EST on Friday. Raymond James analyst Andy Nasr shrugged off the miss, even though he eased back on his 2008 profit forecast, and raised his target price to $50 (U.S.) from $45. The rating stayed at "strong buy." He figures the bottom line will begin bulking up from recent acquisitions of Kentucky Derby and Prewitt in fiscal 2008 and 2009, which adds a cushion to his estimates. "We continue to believe Gildan will be able to leverage its low-cost advantage across multiple product categories as it capitalizes on further opportunities for market share penetration in the U.S. distributor channel and international markets," he writes, adding that the sock maker has "sound defensive characteristics, little debt, no fashion risk, and a proven management team."
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