Gildan Activewear Inc. (TSX:GIL)(NYSE:GIL) is a Montreal-based manufacturer of branded clothing. The stock was down 0.37% towards the end of the noon hour on November 22nd. Shares have climbed 16.9% in 2017 and 9% year over year.
In its most recent retail sales report for August 2017, Statistics Canada revealed some good news for the clothing retail sector. Seasonally adjusted sales were up 1.2% at clothing stores in the month of August and 9.2% year over year. This is good news for an industry that usually flourishes in the holiday season.
Gildan Activewear released its third-quarter results on November 2nd. The company reported consolidated net sales of $716.4 million which was in line with results in Q3 2016. Gildan Activewear raised its earnings-per-share projection to $1.70-$1.72 for the year, which would represent growth of 13% compared to the prior year if forecasts turn out to be accurate.
The company posted net earnings of $116.1 million or $0.52 per share in comparison to $114.4 million or $0.49 per share in the prior year. The company also generated impressive free cash flow of $149.9 million in the quarter and $353.3 million year to date. The print wear segment reported the best results with operating income of $127.5 million, a 3.3% increase from the third quarter of 2016.
Gildan Activewear stock also offers a dividend of $0.12 per share representing a 1.2% dividend yield. With the holiday season expected to produce strong sales in the clothing retail segment, Gildan Activewear could be a solid pick up for investors before the New Year.