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Guess Inc.'s 3Q profit down, revenue beats views

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Guess Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit sank on weak consumer confidence around the globe. The clothing maker still managed to beat the market's revenue expectations, and it announced plans for a special dividend.

Guess shares jumped more than 5 percent in after-hours trading.

Guess earned $36.6 million, or 43 cents per share, for the period that ended Oct. 27. That's down from $66.3 million, or 71 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Total revenue fell 2 percent to $628.8 million on lower royalties and sales.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected 44 cents per share on revenue of $624.8 million.

Guess said that its revenue sank in all markets around the globe except in Asia and its North American wholesale business. The company said economic pressures hurt consumer confidence in most of its markets.

Guess expects to earn 85 to 95 cents per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $780 million to $800 million. Analysts were expecting the company to make 95 cents per share on revenue of $789 million.

The company also expects to earn $2.05 to $2.15 per share for the full year on revenue in the range of $2.62 billion to $2.64 billion. Analysts forecast earnings of $2.17 per share for the year on revenue of $2.63 billion.

Guess will pay a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents per share and a special cash dividend of $1.20 per share. The combined dividends are payable on Dec. 28 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 12.

It is one of a string of companies to move up its quarterly payout or issue a special end-of-year payment to protect investors from potentially having to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.

Since 2003 investors have paid a maximum 15 percent on dividend income. But that historically low rate will expire in January unless Congress and President Barack Obama extend it in a deal on taxes and government spending.

Guess shares rose $1.35, or 5.4 percent, to $26.60 in after-hours trading. The stock has ranged between $22.48 and $37.15 in the past 52 weeks.