Jones Apparel Group

(JNY)

reported fourth-quarter earnings today that met Wall Street's expectations. The company also projected 2001 earnings that were line with analysts' forecasts.

For the period ending Dec. 31, Jones Apparel earned $64 million, or 52 cents a share, excluding adjustments, compared with $27 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Eighteen analysts from

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected the company to report earnings of 52 cents a share.

Bristol, Pa.-based Jones Apparel, which designs women's clothing under brand names such as

Jones New York

,

Evan-Picone

and

Rena Rowan

, posted fourth-quarter revenue of $962 million, up 5% from $915 million in the year-ago period.

The company estimates 2001 earnings per share will range from $2.93 to $3, excluding adjustments. According to First Call/Thomson Financial, 18 analysts expect the company to earn $2.96 a share for the full year.

Jones Apparel also anticipates 2001 revenue of $4.125 billion to $4.275 billion and a revenue increase of 7% to 11% on continuing businesses. These projections have been adjusted to reflect the sale of the

Nine West United Kingdom

retail operation, which accounted for $166 million in net sales in 2000.

Shares of Jones Apparel, fell 75 cents, or 1.9%, to $38.15 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.