Coach Earnings Buoyed by Overseas Sales

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Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) reported third-quarter fiscal 2014 results before markets opened Tuesday. The luxury accessories company posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.68 on revenues of $1.10 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.84 on revenues of $1.19 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.61 and $1.13 billion in revenues.

Operating income totaled $263 million, down from the $348 million reported in the comparable year ago period. The operating margin was 23.9%, down from 29.3% in the prior year.

The company’s CEO said:

During the third quarter, total sales declined as weakness in our North American women’s bag and accessories business continued to offset strong growth in men’s, footwear, and robust sales gains in Asian markets and Europe. Our business in North America remained challenging in the period, exacerbated by the weather and shift of the Easter holiday. We experienced sharply lower traffic levels in our stores while our internet results were impacted by our strategic decisions to eliminate third party events, as well as limit the access and invitations to our factory flash site. At the same time, China results remained resilient with total sales growing over 25% and comparable store sales rising at a double-digit rate.

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The company said it repurchased and retired about 3.6 million shares of its common stock, at a cost of $175 million. And the board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.3375 per common share, maintaining the annual rate of $1.35.

The company did not provide specific guidance, but the consensus forecast of analysts calls for EPS of $3.13 on revenues of $4.89 billion for the year. For the fourth quarter, analysts estimate EPS at $0.70 on $1.19 billion in revenue.

Coach shares dropped 4.8% in premarket trading Tuesday, after closing at $48.00 Monday, in a 52-week range of $44.31 to $60.12. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of only $53.41 before this report.

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