THE BUSINESSWEEK 50 RANKINGS + 25

66

Polo Ralph Lauren

Fashion is fickle, unless you’re Ralph Lauren. The Bronx-born designer has thrived for four decades, churning out fashions that fit all ends of the income spectrum. Behind his jet-set lifestyle is a savvy business leader who has institutionalized his design edge with exemplary talent development, inventory management, and market research. And he continues to innovate, with fresh concepts like Rugby for the college set and partnerships like the new Chaps Home collection with Kohl’s. Polo’s stock is up some 159% over the past three years, vs. 22.9% for the S&P 500—which, incidentally, the company became part of in February.

Overall Grade

A-

Market Data

RL

Market Value
(2/28/2007)

$9.1 Billion

Profitability*

26.3%

B

Sales Growth Rate**

18.4%

B+

12-Month Sales

$4.2 Billion

12-Month Net Income

$0.4 Billion

Total Return Past 12 Months

50.5%

Past 36 Months

162.5%

Economic SectorConsumer Discretionary
IndustryApparel, Accessories & Luxury Goods
The overall sector letter grade reflects how the weighted average of the return on income, or return on equity, and sales growth grades compare with others in the same sector. For the overall grade as well as the ROE/ROI and sales growth grades, an "A" places a company in the top 7% of its sector and an "A-" in the top 14% of the sector. The actual ranking was done using the underlying numerical measures. Grades are for information only.
* For nonfinancial companies, three-year average pretax operating profit before interest and special items as a percentage of average invested capital. For financial companies, pretax profits as a percentage of average shareholder's equity.
*Three-year average annual sales growth based on the most recently reported 36 months, calculated using the least-squares method.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren, 67

CEO since 1967


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Data as of 2/28/07 provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat