UPDATE 1-True Religion Apparel profit beats estimates

Tue May 1, 2012 4:46pm EDT

* Q1 EPS $41 vs est $36

* Revenue up 14 pct to $106.8 mln

May 1 (Reuters) - Premium denim maker True Religion Apparel Inc's first-quarter results beat analysts' expectations, helped by strong same-store sales at its U.S. branded retail stores, sending its shares up 14 percent in extended trade.

Net sales for the company's consumer direct segment in the United States, which includes its retail stores and e-commerce business, increased 22.6 percent to $65.5 million. This segment accounts for 61.3 percent of its total net sales for the quarter.

True Religion, which sells its namesake jeans for as much as $300 in specialty boutiques and upscale department stores, also attributed the strong performance to 13 new stores opened since the first quarter of last year.

The company said it plans to open new retail stores both in the U.S. and abroad and expand its wholesale presence outside the U.S.

For the first quarter, the company reported net income of $10.4 million, or 41 cents, compared with $8.9 million, or 36 cents, a year ago.

Sales rose 14 percent to $106.8 million.

Analysts, on average, expected the company to post earnings of 36 cents on a revenue of $102.43 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company had in February forecast 2012 earnings of $1.88 to $1.95 a share, on revenue of $450 million to $460 million.

True Religion shares closed at $27.88 on Tuesday. They were trading at $31.80 in after market trade.

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