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Michael Kors Bucks Retail Trend

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Earnings results from Michael Kors (KORS) showed the European luxury consumer still has plenty of money to spend.

The luxury apparel and accessory designer earned 34 cents a share on net income of $68.6 million during the first quarter of 2013 -- a 162% year-over-year climb -- and revenue of $414.9 million -- a 71% year-over-year increase. The recent quarterly performance of rivals Ralph Lauren (RL) and Coach (COH) pale in comparison. Wall Street analysts were expecting Michael Kors to generate earnings of 20 cents a share and sales of $368.3 million for the three months ending in June.

Despite rivals citing economic weakness in Europe, Michael Kors is reaping the benefits of its strong brand recognition amongst affluent consumers. The company's revenue increased 110% to $33 million in the region, with same-store-sales rising 24%.

"Michael Kors is established as a desirable jet-set brand, and we believe that we are taking market share in the European accessories, footwear, watch and apparel markets as our brand awareness rises," explained Michael Kors CEO John Idol during a conference call with investors on Tuesday.

Idol added that, while Michael Kors maintains a close watch on the European retail environment, it has not seen an impact on its operations. "We are uniquely positioned to build a Pan-European accessible luxury accessory business," he said.

Japan saw an even greater increase, with revenue climbing 190% to $4 million, with comparable store sales of 21%. Michael Kors opened its first stores in the country earlier this year.

Bucking the Trend

Although competitor Ralph Lauren's domestic business remains strong, analysts noted that international performance was disappointing during its fiscal first quarter. Credit Suisse analyst Christian Buss maintained his "outperform" rating of the stock, but reduced his price target from $195 to $175.

The iconic American designer, who created Team USA's uniforms for the 2012 Summer Olympics, reported a net income of $193 million, or $2.03 per diluted share, on $1.6 billion of revenue for the first quarter of 2013.

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