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Ralph Lauren: Q4 Profit Jumps, Outlook Weak

Doubles quarterly dividend, warns of softer sales in fiscal 2013


Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) said it earned $94.4 million during its fiscal fourth quarter, up from $73.2 million during the same time in 2011.

EPS for the quarter was 99 cents, compared to 74 cents last year. Wall Street had expected earnings of 84 cents, Reuters noted.

Ralph Lauren Stock Is Never Out of Style
Ralph Lauren Stock Is Never Out of Style

The clothing company also announced that it would raise its quarterly dividend to 40 cents a share, twice as much as previously declared.

Ralph Lauren shares edged up more than 1% in Tuesday mid-day trading, at just over $148 a share.

Revenue increased 13.7% during the quarter, reaching $1.62 billion, driven by strong sales growth at its brand name outlets and e-commerce operation. That beat analysts who had expected revenue of $1.60 billion. Same store sales advanced 12% over last year.

For fiscal 2012, the company reported earnings of $681 million, up from $568 million in 2011, on sales of $6.9 billion, a 21% increase over the prior year.

However, the company predicted that weak European sales and the shut down of certain operations in China would reduce wholesale sales for fiscal 2013. Revenue for the 2013 was estimated to rise by a “mid-single digit” percentage. The company had previously forecast a 20% revenue increase for fiscal 2013.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) announced in February that it would stop selling Ralph Lauren’s “American Living” brand, which it had retailed exclusively for five years.

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