Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) said Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit dropped to $73.2 million, or 74 cents a share, from $114.1 million, or $1.13 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased 7.1% to $1.38 billion. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of 79 cents a share on revenue of $1.41 billion.
In the first quarter of Fiscal 2012, the Company expects consolidated revenues to increase in the mid 20% range. Wholesale revenues are expected to grow at a low 20% rate in the first quarter and retail revenues are expected to grow slightly faster, including comparable store sales that are projected to increase by a low double-digit rate. The Company expects the operating margin from continuing operations for the first quarter of Fiscal 2012 to be approximately equivalent to that in the comparable prior year period.
The company currently expects consolidated revenues for Fiscal 2012 to increase by a mid teens percentage, with retail revenues growing slightly faster than wholesale revenues. Based on the anticipated impact of cost of goods inflation and increased investment in strategic growth initiatives, in addition to business disruption in Japan, the Company expects the operating margin from continuing operations for Fiscal 2012 to be 100 - 150 basis points below the prior year. The full year Fiscal 2012 tax rate is estimated at 33%. Capital expenditures are planned at approximately $325 million in Fiscal 2012.
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