NEW YORK — Movado Group Inc. reported fourth-quarter net earnings fell 59 percent, mainly due to higher taxes, while revenues rose 5.1 percent, the company said on Thursday.

In the three months ended Jan. 31, Movado had net earnings of $3 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with net profits of $7.2 million, or 28 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, which excludes taxes related to the repatriation of foreign earnings and the reversal of a previously recorded liability, the company earned $9.9 million, or 38 cents, 2 cents ahead of analysts’ estimates. That compared with adjusted net income of $7.3 million, or 28 cents, last year. On an operating basis, Movado said fourth-quarter earnings jumped 35 percent, to $14.6 million from $8.6 million last year.

Fourth-quarter net sales rose to $126.1 million, from $120 million, while same-store sales were up 14.4 percent at Movado boutiques. Wholesale revenues rose 2.8 percent, to $95.2 million. Domestic wholesale gained 5.7 percent, while international wholesale declined 4.8 percent.

In the year, Movado’s net profits were flat at $26.6 million, or $1.02, versus $26.3 million, or $1.03, a year ago. Net sales totaled $470.9 million, up 12.4 percent.

“We continue to infuse the brands, product and advertising with fresh elements to excite consumers, never compromising Movado’s unique, modern brand identity,” said Efraim Grinberg, president and chief executive officer of Movado, on a post-earnings conference call with analysts and investors. “New products such as Fiero and Vivo were well received during the holiday season, as were diamond watches, including our patented Strato design featuring diamonds set under the crystal.”

Paramus, N.J.-based Movado, which manufactures Movado, Coach and Tommy Hilfiger watches, among others, and operates 27 Movado boutiques, plans to launch Juicy Couture watches in the fall and Lacoste watches in spring 2007. Three new Movado boutiques will open in fiscal 2007.

The company is also developing its Movado brand in China, Grinberg said.

Looking ahead, the company forecast 2007 earnings per share of $1.35 to $1.39, including an expense related to accounting for share-based expenses and a change in the company’s equity-based compensation plan. Net sales in the year are expected to rise 9 to 11 percent.

This story first appeared in the April 10, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Analysts expect the company to have EPS of $1.37 on sales of $520.4 million.

Separately, Movado said its board has approved a 20 percent increase to its quarterly dividend, to 6 cents, effective April 28.