By  on March 30, 2007

NEW YORK — Watchmaker Movado Group Inc. said Thursday that earnings spiked in the fourth quarter but noted that it expects fiscal 2008 earnings per share to fall.

The company said it expects fiscal 2008 diluted EPS to decline 8 percent to $1.72 a diluted share due to an estimated 25 percent tax rate, versus fiscal 2007 diluted EPS of $1.87 on a 5.4 percent tax rate.

For the three months ended Jan. 31, earnings jumped to $14 million, or 52 cents a diluted share, from $3 million, or 11 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Sales for the period rose 12.8 percent to $142.3 million from $126.1 million, while same-store sales decreased 1.8 percent.

Full-year earnings gained 88 percent to $50.1 million, or $1.87 a diluted share, from $26.6 million, or $1.02, in 2005. Sales for the year climbed 13 percent to $532.9 million from $470.9 million.

"Fiscal 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic Movado Museum dial — 60 years of modern design. Throughout the year we will celebrate Movado brand's history and incorporate its rich heritage in our products, our marketing, our boutiques and through special events," said Efraim Grinberg, president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The company said new initiatives are in place and it plans to introduce new products at the Basel Watch Fair, including the debut of its new Lacoste watch collection.

Shares of Movado fell 16.9 percent to close at $28.74 in trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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