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GES NEWS - Growth Costs Money, upfront...

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Soapy Bubbles   Thursday, 05/26/11 09:50:17 AM
Re: None
Post # of 22 
GES NEWS - Growth Costs Money, upfront...



Guess Inc.'s (GES) fiscal first-quarter profit slid 15% on weaker margins and
currency-related expenses, although the bottom line topped the apparel maker's
expectations, as results benefited from strong global demand, led by Asia and
Europe.

Shares rose 11% to $44.55 in after-hours trading.

For the current quarter, Guess said it sees earnings of 77 cents to 83 cents a
share on revenue of $645 million to $660 million. Analysts polled by Thomson
Reuters expected 79 cents a share and $650 million, respectively.

Guess also narrowed its full-year revenue target, now seeing $2.74 billion to
$2.8 billion, compared with the March view of $2.72 billion to $2.82 billion. The
company affirmed its full-year earnings target.

The company's expansion in Asia and Europe has fueled top-line growth in recent
quarters, as Guess benefits from brand expansion in new markets such as France,
Spain and the United Kingdom and builds an infrastructure in Hong Kong and
Shanghai to support a retail and wholesale network in Asia.

Meanwhile, the visual presentation of its North American stores has improved
following the March appointment of Nancy Shachtman as president of the North
America division, according to investment firm Sterne Agee, although her first
line won't arrive in stores until late summer. Wedbush Equity Research recently
said the company has improved its denim, tops and dresses, a trend that will
likely persist through the second quarter as Guess clears out inventory.

For the quarter ended April 30, Guess posted a profit of $42.7 million, or 46
cents a share, down from $50.3 million, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue climbed 9.8% to $563.4 million.

In March, the company projected earnings of 41 cents to 44 cents a share on
revenue of $555 million to $570 million, a view that missed analysts' then
expectations.

Gross margin decreased to 42.1% from 43.6%.

Same-store sales in North America declined 3.1% in U.S. dollars, although retail
revenue grew 5%. In Europe and Asia, revenue climbed 12% and 24%, respectively.
North American wholesale revenue jumped 7%.

-By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; john.kell@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 26, 2011 08:44 ET (12:44 GMT)

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