The company also announced that during the third fiscal quarter, it repurchased and retired 2.33 million shares of its common stock at an average cost of $73.92 per share, spending a total of $172 million. At the end of the period, approximately $430 million remained under the company’s previous repurchase authorization.
For the nine months ended March 31, 2012, net sales were $3.61 billion, up 15% from the $3.13 billion reported in the first nine months of fiscal 2011. Net income totaled $787 million, up 16% from the $678 million reported a year ago, while earnings per share rose 19% to $2.67 from $2.24.
Third fiscal quarter sales results in each of Coach’s primary channels of distribution grew as follows:
- Direct-to-consumer sales, which now include Singapore and Taiwan, increased 18% to $984 million from $837 million last year. North American comparable store sales for the quarter rose 6.7%. In China, sales growth continued strong, up nearly 60%, driven by distribution growth and double-digit comparable location sales. Sales in Japan rose 10% on a constant-currency basis, while dollar sales rose 14%, boosted by a stronger yen.
- Indirect sales increased 10% to $125 million in the third quarter from the $114 million reported in the prior year. International sales at POS were strong for the quarter while sales in U.S. department stores were modestly below last year’s levels.
During the third quarter of fiscal 2012, in North America, the company opened one retail store, closed another and opened five factory stores including two Men’s factory stores. This brought the total to 350 retail stores and 162 factory stores as of March 31, 2012. In China, five new locations were opened during the quarter, all on the Mainland, bringing the total to 85. In Japan, Coach opened three locations and closed three others keeping the total at 184 at the end of the quarter. In January, the company acquired the domestic retail Coach business in Taiwan, which followed the acquisition of the Singapore domestic retail business earlier in the fiscal year. At quarter-end, as the result of these acquisitions the company operated 6 locations in Singapore and 26 in Taiwan.