Ralph Lauren (RL) Falls Despite Its Third-Quarter Earnings Beat

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ralph Lauren  (RL) defied typical market trends on Wednesday morning and posted third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

The stock, however, was declining 1.94% to $151.20. 

The high-end clothing company reported earnings of $237 million, or $2.57 a share, in the holiday period that ended on Dec. 28, up from $216 million, or $2.31 a share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue, excluding the results from the company's licensing business, increased 9.7% to $1.97 billion; with the licensing revenue, revenue totaled $2.02 billion.

Analysts expected EPS of $2.51 on revenue of $2 billion.

Ralph Lauren also announced that it expects its revenue for the current fiscal year to increase 7%; the company previously announced a range of 5% to 7% growth. Analysts expect revenue of $7.38 billion, which would represent a 6.3% increase from $6.94 billion last year.

The company authorized an additional $500 million for its stock repurchase program, bringing the total to $730 million.

TheStreet Ratings team rates RALPH LAUREN CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate RALPH LAUREN CORP (RL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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