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Oxford Industries Jumps After Improved Outlook

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ¿ Shares of Oxford Industries Inc., an owner and licenser of clothing brands, jumped Thursday after the company issued a 2009 profit outlook that topped Wall Street expectations.

Shares rose $3.36, or 16 percent, to $24.43 in early afternoon trading. Oxford's brands include Tommy Bahama, Ben Sherman, Oxford Golf and others.

The improved profit forecast was issued with third-quarter results that showed adjusted profit of 32 cents per share, which excluded an accounting charge, easily beating an 18-cent-per-share prediction of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Morgan Joseph & Co. analyst Jeffrey Blaeser maintained a "Hold" rating on the stock but said he was encouraged by the momentum that is building.

"Oxford has effectively navigated a challenging economic environment and mid-teens year-over-year sales declines through effective cost management," Blaeser told investors in a research report.

On Wednesday, the Atlanta-based company raised its 2009 profit guidance to a range of $1.20 to $1.25 per share, up from an earlier estimate of 90 cents to $1.05. Analyst expect $1.03 per share in profit, on average.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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