By  on February 23, 2005

NEW YORK — Fossil Inc. reported a 29.6 percent increase in fourth-quarter profits and a 36.2 percent jump in earnings for the year because of strong worldwide sales in its accessories, jewelry and licensed-watch categories.

In the 13 weeks ended Jan. 1, the company earned $37.6 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, matching analysts’ expectations, compared with $29 million, or 39 cents, during the same quarter in 2003.

Total revenues were $318.4 million, up 22.8 percent, including a 23.6 percent increase in company-owned retail sales, a 25.5 percent boost in international wholesale sales and a 19.4 percent rise in domestic wholesale sales. Fossil said its Michele watches, which it acquired in the second quarter of 2004, contributed $10.9 million to the period’s sales.

“The company significantly increased its advertising spending domestically and internationally during the quarter to spur growth in a sluggish economy, introduce new product and establish a brand-name presence,” Mike Kovar, chief financial officer of the Richardson, Tex.-based company, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Fossil guided first-quarter earnings per share to 26 cents, which would be up from the 22 cents earned in the prior-year period. The consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts, however, called for 28 cents in the quarter. As a result, shares of Fossil lost 10.7 percent in Nasdaq trading Tuesday, closing at $25.61.

In 2005, the company is forecasting a profit of $1.53 to $1.57 a share on a diluted basis, compared with the consensus estimate for $1.50.

For the year, Fossil earned $93.1 million, or $1.25 a share, compared with $68.3 million, or 93 cents, a year ago. Total revenues were $960 million, up 22.9 percent.

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