Inter Parfums (IPAR) (IPAR), which makes and markets top fragrances worldwide as a licensee of top brands including Burberry, Lanvin, and Van Cleef & Arpel, is upping its ante in the industry. It has signed exclusive pacts to produce perfume and beauty products for The Gap (GPS) and Banana Republic. "This will be a massive new avenue for us that should deliver huge growth," says IPAR Chairman and CEO Jean Madar. Banana Republic's fragrance, bath, and body products were launched in September at 400 of its 503 stores. "It was better than expected in sales and brisk reorders," says Madar. The new products will be at most of Gap's 1,327 stores by March, 2007. Inter Parfurms' stock rose from 15 on Sept. 1 to 20 on Dec. 6. Based on the Gap/Banana Republic fragrance rollout and successful launches of IPAR's existing brands, Neely Tamminga of Piper Jaffray (PJC) rates IPAR "outperform." She estimates earnings of 83 cents in 2006 and $1.02 in 2007. Charles Glovsky of Independence Investments, which owns a 7.3% stake, says its new business with specialty retailers is "an exciting fresh growth area."
Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.
By Gene G. Marcial