Express and Urban Outfitters are Trains Passing in the Night

Michael Weiss, president and chief executive of clothing retail chain Express Inc. (NYSE:EXPR), kept the company’s fourth-quarter outlook on Wednesday and said he thinks results could end up being near the high end of Express’s forecast range of 66 cents to 70 cents a share. Weiss addressed a crowd of about 400 investors and analysts at the 14th annual ICR XChange in Miami.

He said that although Express, like other retailers, had to ramp up marketing this holiday season, the expense didn’t influence margins enough to cause Express to adjust its outlook. In an interview he said, “More important than the economy in our business for our customers is fashion. Product is key.”

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), however, heads the opposite direction as it takes its biggest plunge in three years following the announcement that Glen Senk resigned as the retailer’s chief executive officer. Co-founder Richard Hayne will take control in an effort to reverse the company’s yearlong profit freefall. On top of that, Citigroup analyst Jeff Black lowered his rating on the retailer to sell from buy and cut his price target on the stock to $20 from $34.

Here’s how these stocks are reacting to the news:

Express Inc. (NYSE:EXPR): EXPR shares recently traded at $20.14, up $0.72, or 3.71%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $16.12 to $24.02. Volume today was 482,201 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,127,820 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 13.91, while trailing earnings are $1.45 per share.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN): URBN shares recently traded at $23.96, down $5.45, or 18.53%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $21.47 to $39.26. Volume today was 15,882,816 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,249,510 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 17.67, while trailing earnings are $1.36 per share.