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Ralph Lauren sales outlook overshadows strong year

Raymond Boyd | Michael Ochs Archives | Getty Images

A weak sales outlook overshadowed strong fourth-quarter and annual earnings at Ralph Lauren, sending shares down almost 6 percent at the open to a new low for the past year.

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Net income rose to $153 million, $1.68 per share, for the three months that ended March, which was a nickel better than industry analysts had expected. Revenue fell just shy of projections, according to a poll by FactSet, but still rose 17 percent to $1.87 billion.

However, Wall Street's optimism had been on the upswing regarding this quarter's sales. Investors appeared jolted by the company's outlook for a revenue increase of between 3 percent and 5 percent.

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For the full year, Ralph Lauren reported net income of $776 million, or $8.43 per share, compared with net income of $750 million, or $8 per share, the year before. Revenue rose 7 percent to $7.5 billion from $6.9 billion. That also beat Wall Street expectations.

For the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2015, the company expects revenue to rise between 6 percent and 8 percent from the year before. That would mean revenue between $7.9 billion and $8 billion. Analysts expect revenue of $8 billion.

Separately, the company also said Friday its Executive Vice Chairman Roger Farah will retire from the company in August.

Shares recovered somewhat from an initial sell-off that sent prices to levels not seen since late 2012.

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About an hour after the opening bell, shares were down $7.89 to $144.10.

—By The Associated Press

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