North Face, sports demand drives VF Corp 1Q higher

VF Corp posts 26 pct increase in 1st-qtr net income on strong demand for North Face products

Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Clothing manufacturer VF Corp. said Friday its first-quarter net income jumped 26 percent on strong demand for its North Face and other outdoor and actions sports brands.

For the three months ended March 30, VP earned $270.4 million, or $2.41 per share, up from $215.2 million, or $1.91 per share, in the 2012 quarter. Excluding costs related to its acquisition of Timberland, the company posted an adjusted profit of $2.43 per share.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $2.61 billion from $2.56 billion last year.

The profit easily beat Wall Street predictions, while the revenue fell slightly short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $2.19 per share on $2.63 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Revenue at the company's outdoor and actions sports business increased 10 percent to $1.4 billion, as colder weather helped send demand for The North Face products up 6 percent. Sales of The Vans brand products jumped 25 percent on across-the-board strong global demand.

Jeanswear sales fell 3 percent to $718 million, as Wrangler brand sales fell 2 percent and Lee brand sales decreased 6 percent.

International revenue, which accounted for 42 percent of the company's total sales, increased 6 percent, helped by a 10 percent increase in the Americas outside the U.S., and a 9 percent increase in Asia revenue.

Direct-to-consumer sales rose 12 percent, including a 25 percent surge in North Face sales.

Based on the first-quarter results, the company boosted its full-year adjusted earnings guidance by 5 cents to $10.75 per share. It backed its previous full-year revenue prediction of $11.5 billion.

Analysts expect a profit of $10.80 per share on $11.56 billion in revenue.

Also on Friday, VF said its board declared a quarterly dividend of 87 cents. The dividend will be paid on June 20 to shareholders of record as of June 10.

VF shares fell $2.75 to $176 in premarket trading. The stock closed Thursday at $178.75, up more than 18 percent since the start of the year.

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