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Ralph Lauren Profit Tops Estimates as Sales Accelerate

Ralph Lauren Corp., the retailer of its namesake brand clothing, rose after reporting profit that beat analysts’ estimates because of sales gains at its own shops and department stores.

Ralph Lauren climbed 2.7 percent to $150.27 at the close in New York. The shares have advanced 8.8 percent this year.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Lauren benefited from gains in apparel and accessories sales in North America and Europe in the fourth quarter. Luxury consumers continued buying goods at full price as stronger financial markets earlier this year bolstered their confidence.

Net income in the quarter ended March 31 climbed 29 percent to $94.4 million, or 99 cents a share, from $73.2 million, or 74 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said in a statement today. The average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 85 cents a share.

Ralph Lauren said gross margin -- the fraction of revenue left after subtracting the cost of goods sold -- expanded to 57.1 percent, exceeding analysts’ average estimate of 56.1 percent.

Revenue climbed 14 percent to $1.62 billion. Analysts estimated $1.6 billion. Sales at its own stores open at least a year improved 12 percent, and wholesale revenue climbed 10 percent, the company said.

Ralph Lauren said its board authorized doubling its quarterly dividend to 40 cents a share.

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