Liz Claiborne Hits Targets - TheStreet

Liz Claiborne Hits Targets

Second-quarter revenue climbs 22%, but the company's outlook is somewhat mixed.
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Liz Claiborne

(LIZ)

reported a 15% increase in second-quarter earnings, meeting analysts' estimates, but the clothing designer provided investors with a mixed outlook.

The company posted earnings of $45 million, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $39 million, or 36 cents a share, the previous year. Analysts had expected a profit of 41 cents, according to Thomson First Call.

Revenue climbed 22% to $959 million from $789.5 million a year earlier.

"As has been the case for some time, the retail and macroeconomic environments remain challenging," said Chairman and Chief Executive Paul R. Charron in a written statement. "Apparel spending has been adversely impacted by a number of external factors, including the unemployment rate and consumer confidence."

Charron also said second-quarter results were driven primarily by the acquisitions, which added about $67 million to total sales. The retailer also gained $35 million in revenue from the weaker dollar.

For the third quarter, Liz Claiborne predicted earnings of 85 cents to 88 cents a share, at the lower end of analysts' average estimates of 88 cents a share.

But for the full year, the company expects sales to grow 11% to 13%, stronger than initial estimates of 9% to 11%. Claiborne nonetheless kept its profit projections at $2.49 to $2.55 a share for 2003. Wall Street is expecting yearly earnings of $2.54 a share.