NEW YORK (
is setting the bar high for luxury retailers, as its third-quarter profit shot up 37%, boosted by full-price selling.
During the quarter, the handbag maker earned $157.6 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with $114.9 million, or 36 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected a profit of 46 cents a share for Coach.
Coach's revenue grew 12% to $830.7 million, while its same-store sales increased 5.1%.
Coach's China business is one year ahead of its growth plan, with sales now expected to hit $250 million during fiscal 2012. The company will open its first mainland China store in Shanghai this week.
The company also announced expansion plans in Europe -- which include stores in Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
Coach also doubled its annual cash dividend to 60 cents a share, and announced that it plans to repurchase $1 billion of its common stock by June 30, 2012.
"The repurchase plan and dividend raise are strong signals that Coach remains a vibrant domestic brand with identifiable international growth opportunities," Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi wrote in a note.
Today's Coach earnings report sets a standard for other luxury retailers like
, which have also been recovering nicely from the recession.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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