Fossil 4Q net income rises as watch sales climb

Fossil 4th-quarter net income up as sales of watches, leather goods increase

Associated Press

RICHARDSON, Texas (AP) -- Fossil Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 22 percent as its revenue improved on better sales of watches and leather goods.

The company said Tuesday that it earned $117.9 million, or $1.87 per share, in the quarter. That's up from $96.7 million, or $1.46 per share, during the same period a year earlier.

This beat the $1.76 per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Gross profit margin slipped to 56.1 percent from 57.1 percent mostly because of higher labor costs and rising costs of watch components. Fossil also said that it was hurt by increased sales to off-price retailers at lower margins.

For the period ended Dec. 31, revenue climbed 19 percent to $830.8 million from $701.1 million. But the results missed the $842.3 million that analysts predicted.

North American wholesale sales increased 18 percent, while European wholesale sales climbed 18.5 percent and Asia's performance rose 13.8 percent. Direct-to-consumer sales climbed 22.5 percent and online sales rose 8.2 percent.

Fossil's full-year earnings rose 16 percent to $294.7 million, or $4.61 per share, from $255.2 million, or $3.77 per share, in the previous year.

Annual revenue increased 27 percent to $2.57 billion from $2.03 billion.

Looking ahead, Fossil forecasts fiscal 2012 earnings of $5.40 to $5.50 per share and first-quarter earnings of 90 cents to 92 cents per share. The company anticipates revenue for both the quarter and year will rise 15 percent. This implies 2012 revenue of $2.96 billion and first-quarter revenue of about $617.3 million.

Analysts anticipate full-year earnings of $5.46 per share on revenue of $2.99 billion and first-quarter earnings of 97 per share on revenue of $617.6 million.

Fossil, which is based in Richardson, Texas, has more than 390 company-owned stores. Its stock gained 3.4 percent, or $3.57, to $108.07 in morning trading.

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