NEW YORK — Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.’s income nearly doubled in the fourth quarter ended April 1, thanks to a hefty charge in the year-ago period. But profits still beat Wall Street estimates by a penny.
For the three-month period, income was $62.5 million, or 58 cents a share, up from $23.4 million, or 22 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The company beat Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 57 cents a share. The year-ago quarter included a charge to settle litigation with Jones Apparel Group. Excluding the charge, income in the year-ago quarter would have been $86 million.
Total revenues in the quarter rose 7.7 percent, to $971.6 million from $902.2 million, which included a 5.7 percent gain in wholesale sales to $573.8 million and a 14.9 percent increase in retail sales to $334.9 million. The increase in wholesale volume came primarily from the inclusion of Polo Jeans and footwear, the launch of Chaps for women and boys, and increased sales in Lauren and the company’s full-price men’s wear business. At retail, total company same-store sales rose 3 percent, reflecting an increase of 1.2 percent at Ralph Lauren stores, 10.6 percent rise at Club Monaco stores and 2.8 percent in factory stores. Revenues at Polo.com rose 73 percent. The balance in total revenues was from licensing income.
For the year, income jumped 61.8 percent to $308 million, or $2.87 a diluted share, from $190.4 million, or $1.83, a year ago. Total revenues rose 13.3 percent to $3.75 billion from $3.31 billion. The company affirmed its previous earnings per share forecst of $3 to $3.10 for fiscal year 2007.
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