Tommy Hilfiger’s Blue Year Yields Red Ink of $513.6 Million

Tommy Hilfiger posted nine-digit losses for its fourth-quarter and year-after special charges and amid declines in its wholesale and retail operations.

The company provided guidance for fiscal 2004, and said that earnings per share are expected in the range of between $1 and $1.20. Revenues are expected to be below that of fiscal 2003 in the high-single digit percentage range.

Horowitz said that the company “remains very pleased with the momentum of Tommy Europe. We believe our pan-European distribution strategy and balanced product portfolio in this market will enable Tommy Europe to achieve revenue growth of over 20 percent for fiscal 2004.” He told analysts that the European operation “achieved revenues for the full fiscal [2003] year of $275.8 million, ahead of expectations we originally established for the business when we acquired it in July 2001 and 44.2 percent above last year on a constant currency basis.”

Prior to the company’s earnings release, Joseph Teklits at Wachovia Securities downgraded the firm to “market perform” because of the lack of any “actual sign of significant improvement” and the limited upside potential now that Tommy is not likely to be taken over by another firm.

Dennis Rosenberg of Credit Suisse First Boston upped the rating of Tommy to “neutral” from “underperform” owing mostly to the expectation of stabilization of the U.S. wholesale business, continued growth in wholesale in Europe and retail via the children’s outlets and stores in Europe and Canada.

Shares of Tommy rose 36 cents, or 4.1 percent, to close at $9.13 in Big Board trading Thursday.
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