NEW YORK — Cost controls and gross margin gains allowed VF Corp. to wrangle greater profits out of essentially flat sales in the third quarter.

For the three months ended Sept. 28, the Greensboro, N.C.-based apparel megamanufacturer reported a 23.8 percent boost in net earnings to $128.2 million, or $1.15 a diluted share, 23.8 percent higher than the prior-year mark of $103.6 million, or 90 cents, and 6 cents above analysts’ estimates. Restructuring charges shaved 2 cents off the bottom line, but a reversal of a prior-year charge added 1 cent to it.

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