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Strong sales give Guess a profit boost

January 19, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Apparel maker Guess Inc. said Thursday that fourth-quarter earnings would beat its forecast as the company sold more full-priced items.

Profit was 91 cents to 93 cents a share, the company said, up from 57 cents a year earlier. Guess said earnings for the full year were $2.60 to $2.62 a share, surpassing its forecast of as much as $2.36. The company will release more detailed results Feb. 14.

Fewer markdowns and stronger-than-expected retail sales helped push fourth-quarter profit beyond the company's forecast of as much as 67 cents a share. Demand for accessories boosted licensing fees. Guess operates 336 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada and sells its goods in department and specialty stores worldwide.

Shares of L.A.-based Guess rose 36 cents to $74.85, a historical high.

On Jan. 8, the company said Paul Marciano would become sole chief executive. His brother Maurice relinquished the co-chief executive role and retained the position of chairman. They had shared the roles of co-chairman and co-CEO since 1999.

The brothers have been buying back licenses and added upscale handbags and a clothing collection called Marciano.

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