NEW YORK — A warning about the lateness of spring orders tarnished Movie Star’s double-digit increase in first-quarter profits.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the New York-based intimate apparel manufacturer said earnings jumped 27.3 percent to $853,000, or 5 cents a diluted share, from $670,000, or 4 cents, last year.

Sales for the period rose 6.6 percent to $16.8 million, compared with $15.8 million last year.

Despite the strong results, Mel Knigin, president and chief executive officer,warned of potential detractors from performance in the second half of the year. “It appears that some of our larger customers are placing their spring business orders later this year than they did last year as they closely monitor the timing of their purchases and inventory levels,” said Knigin in a statement.

Knigin went on to say that should the orders come in, the company was prepared to handle the resulting shorter lead times and that the delays were likely a “temporary adjustment” on the part of customers.

Investors and shareholders were decidedly less optimistic as shares plunged 27 percent, to $1.91, in trading on the American Stock Exchange Monday.

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