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Fossil Raises Outlook

Net income climbs 93 percent.

Shares of Fossil Inc. jumped more than 6 percent Tuesday after the marketer of watches and accessories posted a 93.2 percent leap in third-quarter profits.

 

The results, which were helped by robust sales and improved gross margin, prompted the firm to raise its full-year outlook.

 

For the period ended Oct. 2, the Richardson, Texas-based firm registered net income of $68.2 million, or $1 a diluted share, compared with $35.3 million, or 52 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

 

Net sales increased 37.4 percent to 523.8 million, versus $381.4 million a year earlier, led by a “significant contribution” from global watch sales, which expanded 49.3 percent to $125.1 million, according to the company.

 

The quarterly results easily beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance, who’d estimated, on average, EPS of 73 cents on sales of $482.9 million.

 

Wholesale sales jumped 40 percent to $405.6 million from $289.7 million, driven by sales in North America, which rose 50 percent, to $207.7 million. Direct-to-consumer sales improved 28.9 percent, to $118.2 million, as same-store sales grew 19.9 percent. A higher concentration of sales of higher-priced merchandise propped up gross margin to 57 percent of sales, compared with year-ago margin of 55.3 percent.

 

“The Fossil brand, with its increase in awareness and its unique positioning, is a huge long-term global opportunity as a head-to-toe lifestyle brand,” chairman and chief executive officer Kosta Kartsotis said on the company call. “Our multibrand global watch business is also in a unique position to gain market share in a category that is in a significant cyclical upturn.”

 

Net earnings for the nine months more than doubled to $158.5 million, or $2.33 a diluted share, compared with income of $69.2 million, or $1.03 a share, in the prior year. Sales rose 30.3 percent to $1.33 billion, from $1.02 billion.

 

“The watches and accessories category brings strong momentum into the holiday season and could likely lead to further upward revisions to our estimates,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Neely Tamminga, who upped her 2010 guidance to $3.63 from $3.35 a share.

 

The analyst, who rates the company’s stock “overweight,’ said the company’s global multichannel distribution model of existing and new categories “positions it well to gain global market share.”

 

For the full year, Fossil said it anticipates earnings in the range of $3.59 to $3.63 a share, up from its previous guidance of $3.13 to $3.23 a share. Wall Street had been looking for $3.26 a share.

 

The stock closed at $67.85, up $3.88 or 6.1 percent, in Nasdaq trading Tuesday.