True Religion shares tumble on earnings, outlook

VERNON, Calif. (AP) -- True Religion Apparel Inc.'s shares tumbled almost 22 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the clothing company posted fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations and gave a disappointing outlook for 2012.

The designer jean maker reported after the market closed that it earned $14.5 million, or 57 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That's down from $15.8 million, or 63 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

After excluding special costs impacting the quarter, including separation costs tied to the departure of key executives, the company earned 62 cents per share versus 64 cents last year. That fell short of the 71 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet had anticipated.

True Religion's revenue increased nearly 8 percent to $119.4 million; analysts expected $128 million.

The company said that it saw stronger revenue from its stores and overseas business. True Religion said that sales at its own stores open at least a year rose 11 percent. That is considered a key indicator of financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.

But its wholesale business slipped as department stores and other retailers cut back their spending, which has been an ongoing problem for the company.

True Religion also reported that it earned $45 million, or $1.80 per share, for the full year, versus $43.5 million, or $1.75 per share, last year. It earned $1.88 versus $1.87 per share on an adjusted basis. Its annual revenue increased 15 percent to $419.8 million.

The company said it expects to earn $1.88 to $1.95 per share on revenue of $450 million to $460 million for the full year. But that falls short of analyst expectations of $2.37 per share on revenue of $494.3 million.

Shares of the company fell $7.94 to $28.80 in after-hours trading. Its stock closed the regular session at $36.74, down 26 cents.

True Religion, based in Vernon, makes designer jeans that are sold in its 109 company stores and other retailers worldwide.