The legendary investor Peter Lynch attributed mall-shopping trips to uncovering some of his best investment ideas. While simply counting up the customers and bags within a given store is an oversimplified way of evaluating a company, it can give you insight into new stores as well as what's hot. Innocent retail clerks are almost always willing to give you too much insight, unless they've been coached against it (as is the case with Michael Kors).
Francesca's (NASDAQ:FRAN) has been on my radar since its IPO in mid-2011, though its share price has actually fallen 26% since. Earnings ramped significantly in 2012, but it looks like 2013 earnings are going to be relatively flat. Let's take a look at...
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