Handbag stocks are carrying too much baggage, say analysts

Coach's signature Crossbody Flap handbag
Coach's signature Crossbody Flap handbagPHOTO: COACH

(Bloomberg) - Shares of handbag makers Coach Inc. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. took a hit on Monday after analysts warned that slumping sales will probably continue.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Coach to a neutral rating from the equivalent of a buy, saying the brand's overhaul has not yet resonated with shoppers.

Piper Jaffray Cos., meanwhile, lowered its earnings estimates and price target on Kors, citing a buildup of inventory at chains like Macy's Inc. and Dillard's Inc.

The strong dollar has kept tourists from buying as much Kors merchandise in the U.S. - a situation that will probably get worse before it gets better, JPMorgan said in its report. Sales of wristwatches are also sluggish, Piper Jaffray found.

"Watches remain under pressure in the U.S. and are starting to slow in Europe," Erinn Murphy, a Piper Jaffray analyst, said in her report.

Coach fell 2.5 percent to $30.43 in New York, the biggest one-day decline in more than two weeks. The stock has fallen 19 percent so far this year. Kors tumbled 7.8 percent to $38.71, its worst performance since May 27. The shares have now lost almost half their value this year.