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) --


(GES) - Get Free Report

shares jumped in late trades on Wednesday after the Los Angeles maker of branded apparel and accessories posted an above-consensus quarterly profit and gave a strong outlook.

The company said it earned $42.7 million, or 46 cents a share, for its fiscal first quarter ended April 30 as revenue jumped nearly 10% year-over-year to $592.2 million. Those results include a loss of 9 cents a share stemming from unrealized mark-to-market charges related to foreign currency contracts and balances.

The average estimate of analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

was for a profit of 44 cents a share in the April period on revenue of $567.7 million. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The stock was last quoted at $44.70, up 11.5%, on volume of nearly 530,000, according to

. Based on a regular session close at $40.10, the shares were down 17.3% since the start of 2011.

The company cited strong demand in Europe and Asia and improving margins for its strong performance in the latest quarter.

"We continued to expand the global presence of the Guess? brand, with each of our segments growing in the quarter," said Paul Marciano, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Europe and Asia continued to drive that expansion, individually delivering double digit revenue increases, which combined to represent almost two-thirds of the Company's top line growth."

Marciano continued: "Our team executed well, managing costs and inventories tightly, which produced an operating margin that was two full points stronger than our previous expectations."

Guess forecast earnings of 77 to 83 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter ending in July with revenue ranging from $645 million to $660 million, and said it sees earnings of $3.30 to $3.50 a share on revenue of $2.74 billion to $2.80 billion for the year.

Wall Street's current consensus views are for earnings of 79 cents a share in the second quarter and $3.39 a share for the fiscal year ending in January 2012.

Analysts were leaning bullish ahead of the report with nine of the 14 ratings on the stock either strong buy (6) or buy (3) with the remainder at hold (5). The median 12-month price target is $52.


Shares of


(NTAP) - Get Free Report

rose in late trades after the storage technology equipment maker

reported a better than expected profit

for its fiscal fourth quarter, citing market share gains for the strong results.

The company, which competes with


(HPQ) - Get Free Report




, brought in fourth-quarter revenue of $1.43 billion, up from $1.17 billion in the prior year's quarter, and comfortably above analysts' estimate of $1.39 billion.

"We achieved the largest market share gains in our history and closed a record number of million dollar deals," said NetApp CEO Tom Georgens, in a statement released after market close.

Excluding items, NetApp earned 59 cents a share, compared to 50 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by

Thomson Reuters

were looking for earnings of 53 cents a share.

The stock was last quoted at $53.80, up 4%, on extended volume of 2.84 million. Based on a regular session close at $51.73, the shares were down 6.4% so far in 2011; although they are up more than 50% in the past 52 weeks.

Sigma Designs

Shares of

Sigma Designs


were lower after the latest results from the Milpitas, Calif.-based maker of semiconductors for set-top boxes and other media devices fell well short of Wall Street expectations for its fiscal first quarter.

The company posted adjusted earnings of $2.3 million, or 7 cents a share, for its fiscal first quarter ended in April on revenue of $60.6 million, down from a year-ago equivalent profit of $9.2 million, or 29 cents a share, and below the average analysts' estimate for earnings of 17 cents a share in the quarter.

Revenue totaled $60.6 million in the latest quarter, down 10% on a sequential basis, and short of a $63.1 million consensus view.

"While we were within the guidance provided during last quarter's earnings call, we are disappointed with this quarter's results," said Thinh Tran, the company's CEO, in a statement. "Still, we are confident in our connected media platform strategy and remain confident of the mid- and long-term opportunities before us."

The stock was down 8.2% to $10.10 on volume of more than 30,000. At current levels, the shares have fallen 30%-plus since hitting a 52-week high of $15.02 on Jan. 18.

Other stocks active in late trades included

Computer Sciences


, whose shares lost 6% to $41.39 on volume of nearly 100,000 after the company's fiscal fourth-quarter results missed Wall Street's expectations; and

Level 3 Communications


, whose stock rose 2% to $2.24 on volume of more than 600,000 after the company reportedly was

able to lower its borrowing costs

through a $600 million bond sale.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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Michael Baron


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