Urban Outfitters ( URBN) posted a 34% rise in first-quarter earnings thanks to a well-received line of summer clothes and housewares. The retailer earned $6.4 million, or 32 cents a share, up from $4.8 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting 29 cents in the latest quarter. Sales increased 14% to $107 million from $94.1 million a year earlier, while same-stores sales rose 2%. "Our retail brands, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, have never been stronger. The summer apparel assortments have been well received, and May sales, thus far, continue to modestly exceed our plan," the company said. The company said gross profit margins increased to 35.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2004, vs. 34.2% last year, citing higher initial margins associated with private label and better sourcing of apparel merchandise.