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Gildan Activewear 4th-qtr net income leaps 84 pct

NEW YORK (AP) -- Canadian sportswear company Gildan Activewear Inc. said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter net income jumped 84 percent, helped by lower cotton prices and a gain in sales.

The company's also forecast yearly net income above expectations and shares rose 2 percent in morning trading.

Net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 totaled $89 million, or 73 cents per share. That compares with $48.5 million, or 40 cents per share, last year. Excluding costs related to the write down of real estate assets and severance, net income totaled 78 cents per share, short of the 80 cents per share, on average, that analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Montreal-based Gildan said it had forecast 80 cents per share, but that was before it faced costs of 2 cents per share related to a product labeling issue.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $561.7 million from $481.6 million last year. Analysts expected $561.6 million. The cost of sales rose just 5 percent. Gildan said that reflected slightly lower cotton costs.

The company said the sales increase reflected higher printwear sales volume, a more favorable product mix, higher selling prices for its branded lines. The acquisition of t-shirt and sports shirt supplier Anvil Holdings earlier this year also helped boost sales.

For the full fiscal year, Gildan said net income fell to $148.5 million, or $1.22 per share, from $234.2 million, or $1.91 per share, last year. Revenue rose to $1.95 billion, from $1.73 billion.

For the fiscal first quarter, Gildan predicts net income of 28 cents to 31 cents per share, on revenue of $400 million. Analysts, on average, expect net income of 25 cents per share on revenue of $387.3 million.

For the year, the company forecast net income of $2.60 to $2.70 per share, on revenue of $2.1 billion. Wall Street projects net income of $2.55 per share, on revenue of $2.18 billion.

Gildan shares rose 75 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $34.11 in morning trading.