The party in retail's penthouse continues.
Luxury apparel maker
Polo Ralph Lauren
said Friday that limited discounting at the wholesale and retail levels coupled with cost controls will result in better-than-expected margins for its first quarter ended July 2.
Operating margin in the quarter is now forecast at 5 to 5.5 percentage points above the 3.7% Polo put up in the year-ago quarter. The company previously said it expected margins to rise just under 3.7 percentage points from a year earlier. Polo continues to expect sales to rise 20% from a year earlier, consistent with previous guidance.
The company didn't provide specific EPS guidance. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expect Polo to earn 25 cents a share on sales of $694 million in the July quarter.
"Our retail and wholesale businesses are reporting strong revenue gains that were driven by better full-price sell-throughs," he company said. "In addition, we were able to better leverage our incremental sales through improved expense management."
Since the first quarter is usually the company's smallest contributor to full-year earnings, Polo declined to update its full-year guidance Friday.
The stock closed at $43.47 Thursday. The 52-week high is $44.70.