NEW YORK (
) -- Apparel manufacturers
are proving to be standouts in the sector, both posting better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and optimistic outlooks.
Underwear and jeans maker Warnaco earned $48 million, or $1.02 a share, compared with $37.6 million, or 81 cents, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis it actually earned $1.09 a share, higher than the $1.06 analysts estimated.
Revenue rose 9% to $588.2 million, boosted by an 11% jump in Warnaco's Calvin Klein business.
Warnaco, which has a significant presence in Europe, may shed some insight into how retailers like
Abercrombie & Fitch
, which are also closely tied to Europe, will perform when they report first-quarter results later in the month.
Looking ahead, Warnaco management expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.30 to $3.40 a share, up from prior forecast of $3.10 to $3.20 a share. Warnaco also sees revenue increasing between 8% and 10%. It previously predicted a more modest jump between 5% and 7%.
Shares of Warnaco are advancing 5% to $47.09 in morning trading.
Rival Maidenform also said it saw its first-quarter profit double and reported its highest net sales in the history of the company. As a result, shares of Maidenform are soaring 13.5% to $24.74 in morning trading.
During the quarter, Maidenform earned $12.1 million, or 51 cents a share, versus $6 million, or 26 cents, in the same period last year. Analysts were calling for earnings of 41 cents a share.
Maidenform revenue surged 25% to $142.9 million, as bra sales grew 21% and shapewear sales nearly doubled.
Maidenform now expects sales in 2010 to rise in the mid-teen percentage range. It previously forecast growth in the high-single digits.
For the second quarter, Maidenform predicts earnings between 45 cents and 50 cents a share.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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