Nov 6, 2008
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Warnaco posts higher profit, cuts outlook

Nov 6, 2008

* Q3 EPS 74 cents/share excluding one-time items

* Wall Street had expected 72 cents a share

* Cuts full-year outlook, citing weak economy

* Shares down slightly in light premarket trading (Adds CEO comment, details)

CHICAGO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Warnaco Group Inc, which makes Calvin Klein jeans and underwear, posted better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Thursday, but cut its earnings forecast for the year, citing the weak economy.


The company said it expected the retail environment to remain challenging.

"We expect the slowdown in the global economy and the recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar against several major currencies to have a negative near-term impact on revenue growth and our bottom line," Chief Executive Joe Gromek said in a statement.

Net income rose to $26.5 million, or 56 cents a share, from $4.4 million, or 10 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 74 cents a share, 2 cents above analysts' average forecast, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 16 percent to $548.7 million, boosted by international demand and an expanding direct-to-consumer initiative. Analysts had expected $522.1 million.

The company, which owns or licenses brands that include Warner's and Speedo as well as Calvin Klein, forecast 2008 earnings of $2.50 to $2.65 a share from continuing operations. Its previous outlook was $2.80 to $2.90, and analysts were expecting $2.87.

Warnaco said the negative impact of the stronger dollar and a higher tax rate would total 30 cents a share.

It said it now estimated full-year revenue growth at 12 percent to 14 percent, down from its prior view of 13 percent to 15 percent.

The New York-based company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to rise about 3 percent to 5 percent, factoring out foreign currency exchange fluctuations. The strong U.S. dollar, which reduces the value of overseas sales, should hit revenue in the fourth quarter by 8 percent to 10 percent, it added.

Shares of Warnaco fell less than 1 percent in light premarket trading to $25.40. They closed on Wednesday at $25.63 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by John Wallace and Lisa Von Ahn)

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