Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) has laid the groundwork to execute on a big new financial goal put forth by its CFO Harmit Singh.


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Get back to pre-COVID 19 annual sales (or in this case, 2019 levels) by the second half of 2021. And in doing so, bring back the dividend after doing away with it in the current quarter.

“I believe the pandemic is actually raising the casualization of the workplace,” Singh told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade about his mission fresh off Levi’s third quarter earnings release Tuesday evening. “Casualization and the focus on clothing will benefit us.”

To that end, Levi’s has just put some new stakes in the ground in an effort to reach Singh’s goal.

Target announced Tuesday it will expand its offerings of Levi’s Red Tab label jeans to more than 500 locations by next fall from 140 currently. Meanwhile, Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh and Singh disclosed to analysts on the earnings call it’s now testing premium-priced jeans, jackets and shirts at 11 flagship Dick’s Sporting Goods locations and online. Dick’s marks a new partner for Levi’s.

Levi's is expanding at Target stores in the U.S. [Credit: Target]

© Provided by Yahoo! Finance
Levi’s is expanding at Target stores in the U.S. [Credit: Target]

The company has also taken the wraps off Levi’s Secondhand, allowing shoppers to buy pre-owned jeans and jackets. Shoppers could also turn in their used clothing for credit toward new purchases. The apparel resale market is valued at about $28 billion today, but ThredUP believes it could reach $64 billion by 2024 as shoppers focus more on sustainability.

That said, Levi’s does have a lot of clawing back to do on the top line as the pandemic continues to weigh on store shopping trends globally.

Levi’s third quarter sales fell 27% year-over-year to $1.06 billion. Sales and operating profits

We believe there may be a decent opportunity with Constellation Brands stock (NYSE: STZ) at the present time. STZ trades at $182 currently and is in fact down 3% so far this year. It traded at a pre-Covid high of $205 in February, and it is still 11% below that level now. STZ stock has gained around 74% from the low of $105 seen in March 2020, more than the S&P 500 which is up 45%. STZ stock has outperformed the market following the US government announcing a string of measures along with stimulus packages announced in other economies to keep businesses afloat. That said, with the lifting of lockdowns gradually, the spirit demand in the traditional restaurants and pubs category is also expected to pick up in the coming months. This is likely to provide an uptick to the stock. In view of its rally since March and projections of a better top and bottom line in FY 2022 (year ending February 2022), STZ stock is likely to see a full recovery to pre-Covid levels in the near term, reflecting potential gains of close to 15%. Our conclusion is based on our detailed analysis of Constellation Brands stock performance during the current crisis with that during the 2008 recession in our interactive dashboard.

2020 Coronavirus Crisis

Timeline for 2020 Crisis So Far:

  • 12/12/2019: Coronavirus cases first reported in China
  • 1/31/2020: WHO declares a global health emergency.
  • 2/19/2020: Signs of effective containment in China and hopes of monetary easing by major central banks helps S&P 500 reach a record high
  • 3/23/2020: S&P 500 drops 34% from the peak level seen on Feb 19, as COVID-19 cases accelerate outside China. Doesn’t help that oil prices crash in mid-March amid Saudi-led price war
  • Since 3/24/2020: S&P 500 recovers 45% from the lows