Polo Posts Lower First-Quarter Results

Polo Ralph Lauren ( RL) posted lower first-quarter profits, but beat estimates with better-than-expected sales.

The company earned $6.5 million, or 7 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with net income of $31.1 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding foreign currency translations, Polo earned 9 cents a share, ahead of the consensus analyst estimate of 6 cents provided by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Revenue for the quarter fell 1.1% to $467 million from $472.2 million, led by a decrease in sales in the company's menswear business. Analysts had been expecting total revenue of $430.8 million for the quarter.

In a press release, Polo said that its results suffered in a difficult economic environment, but the company promised profitable growth in the coming year, reiterating its full-year forecast of earnings per share of $1.80 to $1.90. The forecast is in line with the consensus First Call analyst estimate of $1.86. For the second quarter, the company expects to earn 48 cents to 53 cents, also in line with estimates of 52 cents.

Shares of Polo Ralph Lauren closed at $19.90 Tuesday before the news.

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