Profits Zip Higher at Coach - TheStreet

Profits Zip Higher at Coach

The accessories maker lifts its guidance for the current year.
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Coach

(COH)

, continuing to benefit from strong U.S. demand for luxury goods, reported a 41% jump in fourth-quarter profits and lifted its forecast for the current year.

For the quarter ended June 30, the accessories maker's earnings rose to $160.6 million, or 42 cents a share, from $117.6 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. The earnings per share beat analysts' average estimate by a penny, according to Thomson Financial.

Sales climbed to $652.1 million from $501.6 million in the year-ago quarter, exceeding Wall Street's forecast of $643 million.

"This quarter's performance demonstrated a continuation of the strength we have seen throughout the year as our market share continued to grow across all channels and geographies," said Chairman and CEO Lew Frankfort in a statement. "Our performance also reflects the vibrancy of the premium handbag and accessory category in North America, where we continue to see significant growth."

North American same-store sales soared 20.2% in the quarter, with an 11.6% jump at retail stores and a 31.2% surge at Coach's outlet stores. In Japan, where Coach also has a significant business, sales rose 23% on a constant-currency basis.

Total retail sales rose 29% in the quarter to $541 million. Indirect sales, representing sales of Coach items in department stores and other areas, increased 34% to $111 million.

Coach now sees earnings of at least $2.06 a share for the current fiscal year, with sales of $3.16 billion. Previously, the company projected earnings of at least $2.02 a share and sales of $3.1 billion.

Analysts, on average, predict fiscal 2008 earnings of $2.04 a share and sales of $3.14 billion.

For the first quarter ending in September, Coach anticipates earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $655 million. Wall Street expects earnings of 38 cents a share and a top line of $645 million.

Shares of Coach recently were down 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $47.68.