Fossil 4Q profit up 28 pct on strong watch demand

Fossil 4th-qtr profit grows 28 percent as watch demand increases; outlook short of St. view

Associated Press

RICHARDSON, Texas (AP) -- Fossil Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter net income jumped 28 percent as demand grew for its watches, its Skagen acquisition gave a big boost and the company opened new stores.

The company's outlook for the current quarter missed Wall Street expectations, but shares still jumped $4.40, or 4.1 percent, to $111.86 just before the opening bell Tuesday.

For the quarter ended Dec. 29, Fossil earned $151.1 million, or $2.51 per share, up from $117.9 million, or $1.87 per share, in the same period last year.

Excluding an income tax benefit and other one-time items, per-share profit came to $2.27 per share, which matched the average prediction of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $947.7 million from $830.8 million, besting analyst expectations of $929.5 million.

Fossil's watches and other products are sold by department stores and other retailers, and the company also has stores of its own as well as a website. Sales to other retailers rose 15 percent in North America, 19 percent in Asia and 4 percent in Europe. Sales through the company's own stores and websites rose 20 percent as Fossil opened more shops.

Demand for watches was strong, and Fossil got a $43.5 million boost from watch, jewelry and sunglasses seller Skagen, which Fossil bought last April. Jewelry sales increased modestly, while sales in other categories, including leather goods, decreased.

For the full year, the company earned $343.4 million, or $5.59 per share, up from $294.7 million, or $4.61 per share, in 2011. Revenue increased to $2.86 billion from $2.57 billion.

For the current quarter, Fossil said it expects to post a profit of between 93 cents and 98 cents per share on revenue of about $649 million. Analysts expect a profit of $1.04 per share on $658.8 million in revenue.

For all of 2013, the company projected earnings of $5.85 to $6.15 per share on revenue of about $3.2 billion. Analysts expect earnings of $6.13 per share on $3.2 billion in revenue.

Separately on Tuesday, Fossil said it signed a licensing deal with Tory Burch. The companies will design Tory Burch brand watches, with sales expected to start in late 2014. The Financial terms were not disclosed.

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