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Steve Madden 4Q results top analysts' estimates

NEW YORK (AP) -- Steve Madden's net income rose 39 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by strong sales of products sold under its namesake brand.

"Our flagship Steve Madden brand was the key driver in the quarter, with robust growth across categories, channels and geographies," Chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld said in a statement on Tuesday.

The results were also helped by a lower tax rate of 35 percent compared with 38.6 percent in the prior-year period.

The footwear and accessories company earned $33 million, or 74 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That's up from $23.8 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased 13 percent to $315.5 million from $279.8 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 71 cents per share on revenue of $315.4 million.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, climbed 5.9 percent. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Gross margin — the amount of each dollar in revenue a company actually keeps — rose to 39.3 percent from 35.5 percent.

For the year, Steven Madden Ltd. earned $119.6 million, or $2.71 per share. In the prior year, the New York company earned $97.3 million, or $2.25 per share. Annual revenue improved to $1.23 billion from $968.5 million.

The company expects fiscal 2013 earnings between $2.95 and $3.05 per share. Revenue is expected to climb 6 percent to 8 percent from 2012's total. This implies revenue in a range of approximately $1.3 billion to $1.33 billion.

Analysts forecast higher earnings of $3.08 per share on revenue of $1.37 billion.

Steve Madden shares finished at $44.90 on Monday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $31.25 to $47.77.