NEW YORK — St. John Knits International Inc. posted a double-digit first-quarter sales rise, but net income fell under the weight of thinner wholesale margins.

For the 13 weeks ended Feb. 2, the Irvine, Calif.-based better sportswear marketer reported net income of $5 million, 14.7 percent below the prior-year level of $5.9 million. Because the company paid $1.3 million in preferred stock dividends in the year-ago quarter and none in the most recent period, income allocated to common stockholders rose 9.5 million, from $4.6 million.

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