Men's Wearhouse

(MW)

posted an increase in first-quarter earnings Wednesday and forecast second-quarter and full-year profit ahead of analysts' estimates.

The news sent the company's shares up 5.1% in after-hours trading.

First-quarter earnings rose to $15.1 million, or 41 cents a share, from $11 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts were calling for 35 cents a share. Sales rose 15.2% to $360.7 million, while same-store sales rose 12.1% in the U.S. and 4.8% in Canada.

In the second quarter, the company expects to earn 40 cents to 43 cents a share, ahead of the First Call consensus for 35 cents a share.

In full-year 2004, the company anticipates earnings of $1.70 to $1.75 a share, compared to a consensus of $1.66 a share.

Men's Wearhouse expects sales of $361 million to $366 million in the second quarter, which would be an increase of 8% to 9.5% over the prior year. For the full year, sales are expected to be $1.505 billion to $1.52 billion.

Same-store sales in both the quarter and full year are forecast to be up in the mid-single digits in both the U.S. and Canada.

Shares of Houston-based Men's Wearhouse were moving up $1.25 at $25.55 in Wednesday after-hours trading. The stock had closed the regular session up 37 cents, or 1.6%, at $24.30.