JONES APPAREL EXPECTS TO TOP WALL ST. ESTIMATES FOR QUARTER

NEW YORK — Highlighting rapid growth in its Lauren Ralph Lauren brand, as well as “strong momentum” in the Jones New York label, Jones Apparel Group said Wednesday that it expects third-quarter earnings to be 86 to 88 cents a share, handily beating Wall Street estimates of 76 cents.
The apparel firm also said it expects revenues in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 to amount to $440 million to $450 million.
Jones’s stock jumped 2 5/8 Wednesday to close at 56 5/8 on the New York Stock Exchange. On Thursday the stock closed at 55 1/2, down 1 1/8.
In the year-ago quarter Jones earned $30.8 million, or 58 cents a share, on revenues of $313 million.
Jones noted it expects the Lauren line to post sales of more than $250 million in 1997, based on current order backlogs.
Total order backlog at Jones Apparel is 49 percent above 1996 levels, the firm said.

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