Michael Kors raises 2014 forecast after strong third quarter

Tue Feb 4, 2014 7:39am EST

(Reuters) - Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS.N) reported a better-than-expected rise in quarter results and raised its sales and profit forecast for the year as the demand for its trendy handbags, watches and accessories showed no sign of slowing.

Shares of the company surged 16 percent in premarket trading.

Michael Kors, named after the fashion designer and former "Project Runway" TV show judge who controls the company, has reported sales growth of at least 40 percent every quarter since it went public in December 2011 as its products resonate with customers.

Rival Coach Inc (COH.N) last month reported a sharp decline in North America sales during the key holiday quarter as it continued to lose customers to fast-growing rivals, particularly Michael Kors.

Between 2011 and 2012, Michael Kors share of the U.S. handbag market rose to 7 percent from 4.5 percent, according to Euromonitor International.

Michael Kors raised its revenue forecast for the year ending in March to $3.18 billion-$3.19 billion from $2.9 billion-$3 billion.

The company now expects full-year earnings of $3.07-$3.09 per share, up from its earlier forecast of $2.77-$2.81.

Analysts on average expect a profit of $2.83 per share, on revenue of $3.03 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's comparable store sales surged 27.8 percent in the third quarter ended December 28.

Net income jumped 77 percent to $229.6 million, or $1.11 per share, from $130.0 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 86 cents per share.

Total revenue rose 59 percent to $1.01 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $859.9 million.

Michael Kors shares were up 14 percent at $88.0 in premarket trading. They had closed at $76.67 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

(Reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Robin Paxton and Savio D'Souza)

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