Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL: Quote) posted fourth quarter net income of $94.4 million or $0.99 per share versus $73.2 million or $0.74 per share a year ago.
On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.83 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Net revenues for the quarter grew to $1.62 billion from $1.43 billion in the prior-year quarter. Analysts expected revenues of $1.60 billion.
The higher net revenues reflect double-digit sales growth at the company's retail and wholesale segments, including low double-digit comparable store sales growth.
Moving ahead, in the first quarter, the company expects consolidated net revenues to increase by a low single-digit percentage. Operating margin from continuing operations for the quarter is expected to be approximately 250-300 basis points below the comparable prior year period due to the timing of investments to support the company's strategic growth objectives and the impact of overall channel mix.
Ralph Lauren currently expects consolidated net revenues for fiscal 2013 to increase by a mid-single-digit percentage, reflecting the net impact of a low single-digit decline in wholesale sales and a low double-digit increase in retail sales. Operating margin from continuing operations for the year is now expected to be modestly above the prior year period as anticipated gross profit margin expansion is largely offset by continued investment in the company's long-term growth initiatives and the impact of overall channel mix.
The company also said its Board declared a 100% increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend on the company's common Stock. The new quarterly cash dividend is now $0.40 per share. Over the next year, the new annual dividend amount will be $1.60 per share and result in an anticipated annualized payout of approximately $150 million. The next quarterly dividend is payable on July 13, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 29, 2012.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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