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Men's Wearhouse fiscal 1Q beats Wall St. forecast

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) -- The Men's Wearhouse Inc. reported Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter profit increased 23 percent, helped by stronger margins and an earlier prom season.

The company, based in Fremont, Calif., runs its namesake chain of men's clothing stores, as well as the Moores and K&G retail chains. It also sells uniform and work wear in the U.S. and U.K.

Net income climbed to $33.1 million, or 65 cents per share, from $26.9 million, or 52 cents per share, in the first quarter last year. Revenue increased 5.1 percent to $616.5 million.

The largest jump came from its higher-margin tuxedo rental services, increasing to $98.5 million from $78.5 million. An earlier Easter pushed the timing of prom season from the second quarter into the first quarter, benefiting companies such as Men's Wearhouse that rent tuxedos and also sell tuxedo accessories.

The quarter's results exceeded market expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expected 55 cents per share on revenue of $604.7 million.

Revenue from stores open at least a year increased 7.1 percent at its namesake stores but slipped 2.8 percent at Moores and 5.3 percent at K&G. That is a key indicator of financial performance because it excludes recently opened and closed stores.

The company had 1,141 stores across North America as of the end of the period.

Men's Wearhouse stood by its expectations of earning $2.70 to $2.80 per share for the year. The company sees slower tuxedo rental revenue from its namesake stores and some slower sales at its Moore's chain but said those would be largely offset by improved margins and lower expenses.

Analysts forecast earnings of $2.74 per share for the year.

Men's Wearhouse shares rose $1.21, or 3.4, percent, to $36.80 in after-hours trading.