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Soft Guidance at Polo

The apparel shop has a strong third quarter but sees a 2008 slowdown.

Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) - Get Ralph Lauren Corporation Class A Report blew away third-quarter targets but guided below the analyst consensus for fiscal 2008.

The New York-based apparel giant made $111 million, or $1.03 a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 30, up from the year-ago $91 million, or 84 cents a share. Revenue rose to $1.14 billion from $996 million a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 92-cent profit on sales of $1.11 billion.

"I am exhilarated by the continued success of our company and the positive responses to our overall strategy and direction," said CEO Ralph Lauren. "The response to our new group, Global Brand Concepts, has been favorable and has tremendous possibilities. With our first client announced, and with work under way, the potential for this business is monumental."

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The company guided to full-year earnings of $3.60 to $3.65 a share, in line with the Thomson target of $3.63. Polo said revenue will rise in the midteens percentagewise.

But for 2008, the company said it expects to make $3.95 to $4.05 a share on revenue growth in the high single digits percentagewise. Analysts were looking for $4.10 a share on 11% sales growth.