UPDATE 1-Tod's share slide on sales numbers and strategy doubts

Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:49am EST

* Shares fall 7 pct, temporarily suspended

* Reports 2013 sales below expectations

* Five banks cut price target for the stock (recasts, adds analyst quotes, detail)

MILAN, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Italian luxury leather group Tod's led losers on the Milan bourse on Thursday and its shares were temporarily suspended from trading after 2013 sales figures prompted analysts to question the company's strategy.

Tod's stock fell more than 7 percent to 102 euros after it said late on Wednesday that it made 979.2 million euros ($1.34 billion) in 2013, against a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate of about 985 million euros.

Analysts at Barclays, JPMorgan, Nomura and Societe Generale cut their price targets for the stock to an average of 101 euros, flagging concerns over the group's ability to branch out into products other than shoes.

Tod's makes about 76 percent of its revenue from shoes but has had less success establishing itself as a producer of other leather goods, such as bags, which generate higher margins because they do not have to be made in so many sizes.

"The Tod's brand is struggling to resonate with consumers in the leather goods (and) accessories categories," Nomura analyst Christopher Walker said in a note.

Sales of leather goods, which Barclays analysts say provide a margin 10 percentage points higher than that for shoes, fell by 2.8 percent over 2013.

Tod's high reliance on Italy, where it makes more than a third of its sales, has long been a concern for analysts, so a slowdown in China and the United States later in the year prompted further worries.

"The strategy of diversifying outside of Europe ... is convincing, but implementation appears difficult," Societe Generale analysts said in a note.

Tod's shares have fallen 15 percent since the end of last year but are still valued more highly than those of its peers. The stock trades at a multiple of more than 20 times forecast earnings for the coming year, compared with a luxury sector average of about 17 times.

"We believe the valuation looks stretched, considering ongoing scope for further estimate downgrades. We therefore remain cautious," Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Allegra Perry said. ($1 = 0.7329 euros) (Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by David Goodman)

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