Michael Kors (KORS), the London-based retailer of clothing and accessories, surged 24% Tuesday and nabbed the top spot in the S&P 500 after delighting investors with a report of better-than-expected holiday sales.
Earnings per share clocked in at $1.59, beating Wall Street estimates by nearly 9%, while sales of $1.4 billion topped forecasts by 3%, based on Bloomberg consensus data. Meanwhile, retail sales jumped 11% year over year, largely thanks to strong holiday numbers.
"We know that consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to what brands they purchase, and the fact that they chose Michael Kors is a great testament to our world-class design team, strong product offering and the lasting connection that we have fostered with our customers," CEO John Idol said on Tuesday's earnings call.
"Importantly, while mall traffic in North America declined, we saw a significant increase in conversion rates in our own retail stores, which further illustrates the strength of the Michael Kors brand," he added.
Sales in the Asian and European wholesale markets were particularly strong, increasing 26% and 4% from the prior year, respectively.
In second place on the day was toy maker Mattel (MAT), which saw shares jump 14% as management also touted sales that exceeded forecasts, as well as the renewed appeal of redesigned Barbie dolls that helped drive holiday sales.
Earnings per share beat analyst expectations by 11.5%, and $2 billion in sales topped forecasts by 5%, based on Bloomberg data.
"Supporting this on our core brands, we exited the year with great momentum in Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels and Thomas (the Tank Engine). And we expect this to continue," CEO Christopher Sinclair said on the call.
The waning season for earnings reports was also the anchor that dragged down the big losers in the S&P Tuesday, namely security services provider ADT (ADT), which fell nearly 16%; Miami-based vacation cruise line Royal Caribbean (RCL), which dropped 15%; and Stamford, Conn.-based technology solutions provider Pitney Bowels (PBI), whose stock decined 14%.
Each of the three caused shareholders to cash out upon the release of varying performance shortfalls in their quarterly earnings reports.
All in all, it was a fairly dismal day in the market with the S&P and Dow Jones industrials both falling nearly 2% -- a decline made worse by a second day of falling oil prices (down 5% Tuesday, based on U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate).
"It's all about oil," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said in Real Money last month. "This market cannot rally convincingly, unless oil rallies. It is more important than China right now."