April 28, 2011 / 10:00 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1- True Religion Q1 beats Wall Street, shares rise

* Q1 EPS $0.36 vs est $0.26

* Q1 rev $93.8 million vs est $85.3 million

* Shares up 10 percent

April 28 (Reuters) - True Religion Apparel Inc’s first-quarter results trounced analysts’ estimates as the premium denim company sold more of its merchandise through its high-margin online and retail stores.

Shares of the company rose 10 percent after the bell on Thursday.

The company, which sells its namesake jeans for as much as $300 in specialty boutiques and upscale department stores, saw revenue from its wholesale division fall 14 percent, while its consumer direct segment, which takes into account sales at retail stores as well as online, rose 38 percent.

While most clothing companies face pressure from rising cotton prices, True Religion’s premium placement gives it more power to pass on these costs.

The company has also cut back on off-price selling to retain its niche positioning.

For the quarter, the company earned 9 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $8.4 million, or 34 cents, last year.

Sales rose 20.4 percent to $93.8 million.

Analysts, on average, had expected it to earn 26 cents a share, on revenue of $85.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Vernon, California-based company has been working on cutting costs and has been investing in international markets to drive sales.

For the quarter, international net sales rose 34 to $18.5 million.

Shares of the company were up at $30.50 after the bell. They had closed at $27.79 on Thursday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore;Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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