Shares of The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCE) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The stock traded as high as $98.60 and last traded at $98.87, with a volume of 1,186,740 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $87.60.

The company reported $2.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.01 by $0.28. The firm earned $473.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $461.98 million. The Children’s Place Retail Stores had a return on equity of 17.14% and a net margin of 4.58%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.93 earnings per share.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 5th. Investors of record on Saturday, December 17th will be issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 14th. The Children’s Place Retail Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 20.15%.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on PLCE. Wolfe Research upped their price target on The Children’s Place Retail Stores from $98.00 to $107.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday. Telsey Advisory Group increased their price objective on The Children’s Place Retail Stores from $93.00 to $100.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday. Mizuho increased their price objective on The Children’s Place Retail Stores from $95.00 to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. FBR & Co decreased their price objective on The Children’s Place Retail Stores from $100.00 to $85.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on The Children’s Place Retail Stores from $80.00 to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, August 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $89.07.

In other news, insider Anurup Pruthi sold 601 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.01, for a total value of $50,490.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 13,925 shares in the company, valued at $1,169,839.25. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, COO Michael Scarpa sold 15,463 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.49, for a total value of $1,321,931.87. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 64,122 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,481,789.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.93% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PLCE. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its position in shares of The Children’s Place Retail Stores by 10.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 99,060 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,912,000 after buying an additional 9,700 shares in the last quarter. Gerstein Fisher purchased a new position in shares of The Children’s Place Retail Stores during the third quarter worth $1,036,000. Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Children’s Place Retail Stores by 4.3% in the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 232,825 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,596,000 after buying an additional 9,608 shares in the last quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of The Children’s Place Retail Stores by 511.1% in the third quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC now owns 110,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,786,000 after buying an additional 92,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new position in shares of The Children’s Place Retail Stores during the third quarter worth $997,000.

The company has a market cap of $1.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.65 and a beta of 0.16. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $77.40 and its 200-day moving average price is $78.28.

The Children’s Place Retail Stores Company Profile

The Children’s Place, Inc (The Children’s Place) is a pure-play children’s specialty apparel retailer in North America. The Company sells apparel, accessories, footwear and other items for children. The Company operates through two segments: The Children’s Place U.S. and The Children’s Place International.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:PLCE

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