Watchmaker Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) reported a much stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on sharply higher watch sales in North America and an increased presence in Asia.
The company on Tuesday said it earned $117.9 million, or $1.87 a share, compared with a year-earlier $96.7 million, or $1.46. Revenue was up 19% to $830.8 million on double-digit comparable sales growth.
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Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a smaller profit of $1.77 on sales of $841.1 million. Shares of Fossil were up about 5.6% to $110.35 before noon on Tuesday.
"We are pleased to cap off another outstanding year for Fossil by continuing with strong, double-digit sales growth across our operating segments," Fossil chief financial officer, Mike Kovar, said in a statement.
He attributed the sales gains to growth across major brands and geographies, particularly Asia, as well as the ongoing success of its two core global growth strategies. Demand for Fossil-branded watches in North America climbed 20.9% to $41.5 million, while leather sales grew 9.5% to $4.8 million.
For the current year, Fossil said it will continue emphasizing the same strategies that led to its strong 2011 and tighten its focus on Asia.
Fossil sees sales growth in the 15% range, with 2012 earnings between $5.40 and $5.50 a share, in line with the Street’s view of $5.44.
It sees earnings for the first quarter in the range of 90 cents to 92 cents, below average estimates of 98 cents.