By  on September 1, 2010

G-III Apparel Group Ltd. surprised Wall Street with a second-quarter profit and a boost in full-year guidance Wednesday, and investors returned the favor by pushing the apparel company’s shares up 16 percent.

Helped by its diversification into businesses such as sportswear and retailing, the New York-based firm best known for its outerwear generated net income of $3 million, or 15 cents a diluted share, in the three months ended July 31 versus a loss of $2.8 million, or 17 cents, in the prior-year period. Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had expected a loss of 2 cents a share. Sales improved 39 percent to $189 million from $135.9 million in the 2009 period, and gross margin was elevated to 32.2 percent of sales from 30 percent. The pickup, greater than anticipated by the firm, was attributed to “increased wholesale sales of women’s dresses, sportswear and suits, as well as from higher sales by the company’s Wilsons retail outlet store business.”

Morris Goldfarb, chairman and chief executive officer, told a morning conference call that the firm remains comfortable with its progress with Calvin Klein women’s sportswear “and continues to set our sights on achieving better than $200 million in annual sales for the sportswear business in the next two years.”

He added there was strength in the Calvin Klein women’s suit business, especially suit separates, and that the core outerwear business “is also very healthy.” The company lifted its full-year EPS guidance to a range of $2.60 to $2.70, 40 cents higher than its previously projection, while sales expectations for the 12 months moved to $1.025 billion from $950 million.

Net income for the six months was $1.6 million, or 8 cents a diluted share, versus a net loss of $9.6 million, or 57 cents, for the first half of 2009. Sales rose 41 percent to $343.2 million from $243.5 million.

Shares ended the day at $28.01, up $3.87.

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