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Cost Controls Help Nautica

The company's quarterly loss narrows from a year ago and revenue rises.



said Tuesday that it narrowed its first-quarter loss as a result of expense controls and strong wholesale segment sales.

The company lost $1.6 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2.6 million, or 8 cents a share, in the prior-year period.

Earnings from continuing operations, which exclude special charges, were $400,000, or a penny a share, compared with a loss of $500,000, or 2 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts had expected the company to earn a penny a share.

Total sales were $139.2 million, up from $125.9 million last year. Sales in the wholesale segment grew 12.4% to $107.1 million from $95.3 million last year. Sales in the retail segment increased 5% to $32.1 million from $30.6 million a year ago.

Nautica expects to report earnings of 31 cents to 32 cents a share for the second quarter, excluding charges. Analysts expect 32 cents a share.

For 2004, the company reaffirmed that it expects to earn 95 cents to $1 a share, excluding after-tax charges of $4.2 million, or 13 cents a share. Analysts expect 96 cents.

The outlook doesn't include expenses related to fees associated with the last week's announcement of the merger with

V.F. Corp.

(VFC) - Get Free Report

. VF said it will acquire Nautica in a cash deal valued at $585.6 million.