Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) 1Q net income rises, doubles dividend

Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) 1Q net income rises, doubles dividendNorthern, WI 5/22/12 (StreetBeat) – Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) said Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit climbed 29 percent, benefiting from strong sales and a lower tax rate. The clothing and home products company also doubled its quarterly dividend to 40 cents per share.

Its shares rose almost 4 percent in morning trading.

President and Chief Operating Officer Roger Farah said in a statement that the company is pleased with its performance given rising raw material costs and uncertain economic conditions.

Heading into fiscal 2013, Farah said Ralph Lauren is cautious about near-term economic trends, particularly in Europe, but that it doesn't change the company's long-term growth expectations.

Ralph Lauren, whose brands include Ralph Lauren Collection, Polo by Ralph Lauren and others, reported net income of $94.4 million, or 99 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, up from $73.2 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts expected earnings of 85 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue increased 13 percent to $1.62 billion from $1.43 billion on higher wholesale and retail sales. Wall Street analysts expected $1.6 billion.

For the full year, Ralph Lauren reported net income of $681 million, or $7.13 per share, up from $567.6 million, or $5.75 per share, a year earlier. Annual revenue rose 21 percent to $6.86 billion from $5.66 billion.

Ralph Lauren said its quarterly dividend will be paid on July 13 to shareholders of record on June 29.

The New York company anticipates a mid-single-digit percentage increase in fiscal 2013 revenue. It foresees a low single-digit percentage rise in first-quarter revenue.

Its shares rose $5.63, or 3.8 percent, to $151.93 in morning trading after rising as high as $161.30 earlier in the session, Its shares are approaching the high end of their 52-week range of $105.11 to $182.48.

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