Claiborne Earnings Slide 65% in 3rd Quarter

Liz Claiborne Inc. earnings tumbled 65 percent in the third quarter as retailers canceled orders, reduced replenishment lines and bought cautiously from the...

Although direct brands continued to perform better than partnered brands, that division was not without hiccups:

l While Lucky sales increased 11.5 percent to $109 million, Lucky retail comps fell 2 percent because of warm weather this fall, the company said. Claiborne is boosting advertising for the brand, including its first national ad campaign, and analysts seem optimistic this could turn around comps.

l Mexx Europe comps fell 2 percent and, excluding foreign currency exchange rates, sales slid about 1 percent to $339 million. "Mexx Europe is engaged in the same kind of turnaround that the overall corporation has initiated," McComb said.

l Juicy Couture continued strong with 48 percent increases in revenues to $135 million and 18 percent comps growth.

l Acquired in the fourth quarter last year, Kate Spade's sales were $20 million in the third quarter.

For the first nine months of the year, earnings sank 65 percent to $62.8 million, or 62 cents a diluted share, from $181.5 million, or $1.75, on a 1 percent slip in sales to $3.46 billion from $3.50 billion.

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