NEW YORK — Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. on Wednesday posted a 16.3 percent gain in first-quarter income, and increased guidance for the second quarter.
For the three months ended March 31, income was $7.4 million, or 36 cents a diluted share, versus $6.4 million, or 31 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Total revenue rose 11.1 percent to $122.4 million from $110.1 million. Included in revenue was licensing income of $9 million, or a 12.7 percent jump from $8 million last year. Consumer direct revenues skyrocketed 25.9 percent to $41 million compared with $32.6 million last year, while same-store sales rose 18.2 percent. Wholesale sales increased 4 percent to $72.3 million from $69.6 million.
Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement, “While our business is clearly improving, we will continue to proceed cautiously and carefully. We believe that the brands and different business units are healthy and appropriately positioned.”
He added the firm remains focused on delivering on time, creating compelling retail environments while continuing to work with licensees to “ensure brand quality and distribution integrity.”
The company, which posted results after the market closed on Wednesday, also updated guidance to reflect a stronger-than-expected second quarter. The company said it was now “comfortable” with guidance for full-year earnings per share in 2004 of between $1.83 and $1.86. The previous guidance was for between $1.80 and $1.84.
The range for the second-quarter EPS is between 34 cents and 35 cents on sales ranging between $112 million and $115 million. The previous expectation was 33 cents to 34 cents on a sales range of between $108 million and $112 million. The company also initiated third-quarter guidance, with EPS of between 58 cents and 59 cents on revenues of between $148 million and $155 million. Fourth-quarter expectations are for EPS of 55 cents to 56 cents and revenues in the range of $137 million to $145 million.
Separately, the board approved the payment of a quarterly dividend of 12 cents a common share. It will be payable on June 16 to shareholders of record as of May 24.
Shares of Kenneth Cole on Tuesday fell $1.05 to close at $35.12 in trading on the Big Board.
— Vicki M. Young