Updated from 8:05 a.m. EST

VF Corp. ( VFC) may just beat the pants off of analysts' earnings estimates.

The clothes maker known for its jeans raised first-quarter guidance Wednesday to reflect stronger-than-expected sales in most of its businesses, triggering a 6% rally in its share price.

The company said EPS could increase by 5% over the year-ago period, when it earned 83 cents a share, which also beat analysts' forecasts. The consensus estimate of analysts for the current quarter is 84 cents a share, according to Thomson One Analytics. VF Corp.'s prior guidance called for EPS to be flat from 2003 levels.

The company, known for its Lee and Wrangler brands, also expects sales to hit the high end of its previous guidance, calling for an increase of 8% to 10% over prior-year levels.

The North Carolina-based company did not revise guidance for the full year but will update its full-year outlook when it releases first-quarter results April 27.

VF's other trademark brands include Nautica, Lily of France and North Face.

Shares were up $2.56, or 6%, to $45.38 after briefly topping their 52-week high of $45.74 set on March 4.

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