Oct 17, 2008
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VF Corp profit tops view; company cuts outlook

Oct 17, 2008

* VF profit of $2.03 excl items tops estimates by a penny

* Revenue up 6.4 pct to $2.21 bln

* VF cuts 4th-qtr, 2008 views on tough macro conditions

NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - VF Corp reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Friday as strong sales of its outerwear and fashion clothing brands offset declines in the manufacturer's jeans and sportswear businesses.

But the company slashed its outlook for the fourth quarter, saying a significant deepening of the global financial crisis and worsening economic conditions would hit consumer confidence even harder.

VF, whose more than 30 brands include Vans, Wrangler, The North Face and 7 For All Mankind, said net income rose about 13 percent to $233.9 million, or $2.10 per share, from $207.2 million, or $1.84 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a special gain, profit was $2.03 per share, topping the analysts' average forecast by a penny, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 6.4 percent to $2.21 billion.

VF sells its clothes through company-owned stores, discount chains, department stores and other specialty retailers, which have all seen sales slow as U.S. consumers grapple with a teetering economy, job losses and higher gas prices.

For the fourth quarter, the company forecast revenue growth of 3 percent to 4 percent and an earnings-per-share increase of 1 percent to 5 percent. It had previously expected rises of 8 percent in revenue and 20 percent in earnings.

For the full year, the company cut its revenue growth forecast to a range of 7 percent to 8 percent from a prior view of more than 9 percent. It expects earnings to rising 8 percent to 9 percent, down from its previous growth forecast of about 12 percent. (Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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