KELLWOOD NET TOPS FORECAST IN 2ND PERIOD

ST. LOUIS — Kellwood Co. reported second-quarter earnings rose 3 percent to $14.4 million, or 67 cents a share, well ahead of Wall Street estimates of 61 cents.
A year ago, it earned $14 million, or 65 cents.
Sales for the three months ended Oct. 31 inched ahead 0.9 percent to $429.4 million from $425.6 million.
On the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Kellwood’s shares rose 1/4 to close at 18 1/4.
“Operationally, Kellwood has taken steps to enhance its competitive position by containing overhead spending and shifting more of our contractor production from domestic to off-shore,” William J. McKenna, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
“Kellwood has been working on a number of marketing programs and initiatives with a broad range of leading retailers in each of our three business portfolios,” he added, noting that the effects should be seen during the third and fourth quarters.
Additionally, McKenna said the company’s consolidating and restructuring expenses “are largely behind us,” and that Kellwood should continue to gain market share and see improvements in its operating margin as compared to the prior year.
Further discussing the quarter, a spokesman noted that sales were better than anticipated, including some reorder business and earlier shipments of some holiday orders.
For the six months, earnings were up 3 percent to $20.3 million, or 95 cents, from $19.7 million, or 93 cents. Sales dipped 1.2 percent to $756.9 million from $766.3 million.
The firm noted that on Sept. 20 it adopted a stock repurchase program. It is authorized to repurchase up to 10 percent of its 21 million outstanding shares. As of Nov. 22, about 324,300 shares had been repurchased.

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