* Adjusted loss 5 cents/share vs Street view loss 7 cents
* Maintains 2012 adjusted EBITDA ex-currency forecast
* Q4 comp sales at Juicy to be up by mid-single-digit
* Shares up 11.4 percent
(Adds details from conference call, CEO comment, share
By Phil Wahba
Oct 25 Fashion company Fifth & Pacific Cos Inc
on Thursday said sales at its struggling Juicy Couture
brand are improving so far this quarter and gave an encouraging
holiday sales forecast for all three of its major brands,
sending its shares up 11.4 percent.
Fifth & Pacific also reported a narrower-than-expected
quarterly loss on Thursday as its Lucky Brand and kate spade
lines enjoyed strong sales, partially offsetting a 6 percent
decline in sales last quarter at Juicy, its biggest brand.
Juicy, a once-hot brand known for its velour track suits
with an urban look, has struggled to find favor again with U.S.
But things are improving, the company said: comparable sales
for the brand should be up by a mid-single digit percentage this
quarter, which includes the Christmas period.
"Juicy Couture's re-stage is progressing," Chief Executive
William McComb said on a conference call. "The brand has real
chops with consumers."
Three weeks ago, the company slashed its profit forecast for
2012 because of a stalled turnaround at Juicy Couture, its
largest brand by sales. That news had sent shares plummeting.
Sales at kate spade, its fast growing high end shoes and
accessories brand that competes with Michael Kors Holdings Inc
and Coach Inc, and Lucky Brand came in above
what the company had reported on a preliminary basis on Oct. 1.
The company expects comparable sales during the holiday to
be up by a mid-single digit percentage at Juicy and by as much
as 29 percentage at kate spade.
Fifth & Pacific also outlined its plan to bring the kate
spade brand to new markets next year, including Russia, Turkey
Net sales last quarter fell 4.2 percent to $364.6 million.
Fifth & Pacific, formerly known as Liz Claiborne Inc, has shed
many brands in the past two years, including Claiborne, to lower
its debt and focus on its three marquee brands.
Excluding businesses it still had a year earlier, sales rose
6.6 percent, fueled largely by gains at kate spade.
Comparable sales for kate spade were up 22 percent in the
quarter, ended Sept. 29, and up 5 percent at Lucky Brand, both a
percentage point higher than the company's preliminary results.
Fifth & Pacific reported a third-quarter net loss of $18.8
million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss
of $214.6 million, or $2.27 a share.
Excluding discontinued business and items such as currency
fluctuations, the company had an adjusted loss of 5 cents per
share, compared with earnings from continuing operations of 4
cents per share a year earlier. Analysts' average forecast was
an adjusted loss of 7 cents a share, according to Thomson
Fifth & Pacific on Thursday stood by its lowered forecast
for 2012 adjusted earnings of $100 million to $115 million
excluding items such as interest, taxes, depreciation and
(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, John
Wallace and Bernard Orr)