Vera Bradley profit misses estimates on weak margins

Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:00pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Handbag maker Vera Bradley Inc (VRA.O) posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as increased promotions hurt margins, and the company cut its full-year earnings outlook.

The company's shares were down 9 percent at $21.50 in after-market trade.

Vera Bradley, known for its bright paisley and floral prints, said it remains cautious about the second half of the year and now expects to earn between $1.60 and $1.63 per share for the full year. It had earlier forecast between $1.68 and $1.71 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.69 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Second-quarter profit fell to $13.4 million, or 33 cents per share, from $13.6 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 18.5 percent to $123 million. Gross margins dropped to 55.8 percent from 57.5 percent.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 35 cents per share on revenue of $122.2 million.

Shares of the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company closed at $23.62 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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