* Q2 adjusted EPS of $1.62 tops Wall St view of $1.24
* Affirms '09 profit view of $4.00 to $4.10
* Tempers '09 sales forecast to low single-digit growth
* Sees weaker sales trends for rest of fiscal 2009
* Shares up 2.2 percent
(Recasts with analysts' estimates, share move, COO comments)
By Martinne Geller
NEW YORK, Nov 5 Fashion company Polo Ralph
Lauren Corp (RL.N) posted a profit that beat Wall Street
forecasts on higher sales and stronger margins, but tempered
its revenue view as consumers spend less.
Over the last year, Polo's high-end customers have been
more resilient to the pain of soaring gas and food prices and a
U.S. housing meltdown.
But after the global financial crisis exploded in
September, discounting intensified across the retail sector and
sales trends for Polo -- which owns Polo, Chaps and Club Monaco
-- changed dramatically.
There is "considerable volatility, with customers in all
channels of distribution pulling back in their spending," said
Chief Operating Officer Roger Farah.
The company tempered its fiscal 2009 sales forecast, saying
sales at retail stores open at least a year should trend
negatively for the rest of the year, which ends in March.
For the second quarter, which ended on Sept. 27, Polo's net
income rose to $161.0 million, or $1.58 per share, from $115.3
million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago.
Excluding impairment charges, Polo earned $1.62 per share,
topping analysts' average estimate of $1.24, according to
Net revenue rose 10 percent to $1.43 billion, the company
said, citing shipments of new products, higher retail sales
worldwide and increased wholesale revenue in Europe.
Sales at its retail stores open at least a year, or
same-store-sales, rose 5.1 percent, as a 3.7 percent decline at
Club Monaco was offset by increases of 0.3 percent at Ralph
Lauren stores and 8.2 percent at factory outlet stores.
Polo affirmed its earnings outlook for fiscal 2009, saying
it still expects to earn $4.00 to $4.10 per share.
But it now expects a low single-digit increase in 2009
revenue, instead of a low-to-mid single digit increase as
Polo shares were up $1.13, or 2.2 percent, at $50.64 on the
New York Stock Exchange.
(Editing by Dave Zimmerman)