Hanesbrands Rises After Activewear Sales Prompt Higher Forecast

Hanesbrands Inc. advanced the most in almost nine months after posting third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates and raising its earnings forecast for the year, helped by increasing sales of activewear.

Earnings in the quarter were 50 cents a share, excluding some items, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Analysts estimated 45 cents, on average. Earnings this year will be $1.66 to $1.68 a share, up from a previous projection of $1.61 to $1.66 the company said.

Hanesbrands, which owns the Champion and Knights Apparel brands, is benefiting from consumers’ increasing use of athletic clothing outside of the gym, a trend known as "athleisure." Activewear sales rose 22 percent to $516.8 million in the quarter, with much of the bump coming from the acquisition of Knights, which was completed in April.

The shares rose as much as 14 percent, or $3.77, to $31.37 in New York trading. Hanesbrands, which had fallen 1.1 percent this year through Wednesday, now trades at about 19.6 times earnings. That’s a 6.2 percent premium to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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