Perry Ellis (PERY) revealed a 37% increase in fiscal first-quarter profits amid strengthening sales and the infusion of Rafaella revenue, prompting the clothing company to upgrade its full-year guidance.

The Miami-based apparel maker said it earned $15.4 million, or 99 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $11.2 million, or 81 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.08 a share, compared with expectations for just 99 cents.

Sales increased 31% to $288.3 million, surpassing the Street’s view of $277 million. Perry Ellis said its Rafaella line, which it acquired in January for $70 million, contributed to $38.9 million of its total revenue. Gross margins decreased to 33.6% from 35.7%.

“We are extremely pleased with our results for the first quarter,” Oscar Feldenkreis, the company’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Our ability to successfully capitalize on the positive momentum for our brands and business from prior year coupled with the addition of the new Rafaella women’s sportswear business drove record revenue and net income.”

Boosted by the solid quarter, Perry Ellis boosted its fiscal 2012 EPS view to $2.40 to $2.50, up from $2.30 to $2.40 previously. Even the low end of the new forecast would exceed consensus calls from analysts for $2.38.

Perry Ellis, which also owns the Jantzen, Cubavera and Laundry by Shelli Segal brands, also reaffirmed its sales guidance of reaching $1 billion.

CEO George Feldenkreis said, “We continue to successfully navigate a challenging product cost environment and expect to continue our strong sales and earnings performance given the strength of our products and business model which is providing us with market share expansion in existing retail doors as well as creating new opportunities for growth.”

Shares of Perry Ellis tumbled despite the earnings beat, losing 4.85% to $27.97 Monday morning. The selloff leaves the stock up 7% in 2011 and 27.5% from a year ago.

 

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