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VF 4Q adj. profit tops Wall Street's expectations

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Clothing company VF's net income climbed 30 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter as results strengthened across most of its businesses.

The company, whose brands include Wrangler, Nautica and The North Face, also gave a 2013 forecast on Friday that is below analysts' estimates. But its quarterly adjusted earnings topped Wall Street's expectations, and the stock rose in morning trading.

VF earned $334.2 million, or $2.98 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 29. A year earlier it earned $257.3 million, or $2.28 per share.

Excluding expenses related to VF's acquisition of the Timberland boot and clothing brand, earnings were $3.07 per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast earnings of $3.03 per share.

Shares of VF climbed $3.73, or 2.4 percent, to $156.54. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $129.53 to $169.82.

Revenue increased 4 percent to $3.03 billion from $2.91 billion, buoyed by strong performances from its outdoor and action sports and sportswear segments as well as better results overseas and in its direct-to-consumer business.

Wall Street expected revenue of $3.09 billion.

Profitability improved as the company continued to shift toward higher-margin businesses and lower product costs.

VF Corp. said Friday that its full-year net income improved to $1.09 billion, or $9.70 per share, from $888.1 million, or $7.98 per share, in the prior year.

Adjusted earnings were $9.63 per share.

Annual revenue rose 15 percent to $10.88 billion from $9.46 billion.

VF predicts 2013 earnings of $10.70 per share. Revenue is expected to climb about 6 percent to $11.5 billion.

Analysts forecast full-year earnings of $10.95 per share on revenue of $11.85 billion.

The Greensboro, N.C. company also declared a quarterly dividend of 87 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on March 18 to shareholders of record on March 8.