NEW YORK — Booming sales and lower costs sent earnings soaring for Guess Inc. in the second quarter and first half.

The Los Angeles-based company easily exceeded Wall Street analysts' expectations, posting a 95.4 percent earnings gain to $4.2 million, or 9 cents a diluted share, compared with $2.1 million, or 5 cents, in the year-ago period.

Revenues surged 15.7 percent to $178.2 million from $154.1 million, driven by strong product performance in North America and Europe.

"We controlled expenses effectively and operated with leaner inventories in North America, which contributed to higher margins in our wholesale segment and a better transition into the important back-to-school selling period," said Maurice Marciano, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer, in a statement.

The new Marciano line of contemporary clothing also performed ahead of plan.

Product sales rose 16.9 percent to $168.9 million from $144.5 million. Progress was more pronounced in results for the first six months, with earnings surging 327 percent to $12.3 million, or 28 cents, from $2.9 million, or 6 cents.

Revenues rose 28.1 percent to $393.8 million from $307.4 million. Again, product sales drove results, rising 30.1 percent to $373.1 million from $286.9 million.

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