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VF Corp. Earnings Top Estimates

Apparel maker VF Corp. posted an 8% rise in quarterly net income, above expectations, helped by stronger sales in its outdoor wear, jeans, uniforms and corporate-wear businesses.

The maker of Wrangler jeans, Nautica sportswear and North Face coats said first-quarter net income was $138.3 million, or $1.20 per share, compared with $128.2 million, or $1.14 per share a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had expected the company to earn $1.12 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue in the first quarter rose 15% to $1.67 billion, while earnings from continuing operations rose 11% to $1.17 per share, the company said.

VF said in February it expected first quarter sales to be up 10%, with earnings from continuing operations to rise from 4% to 6%.

The company's recent acquisition of Majestic Athletic in February boosted earnings by 3 cents per share, the company said.

VF's outdoor division was the best performer during the quarter, posting a 40% rise in sales. Jeanswear revenues rose 8% and revenues in the company's uniforms and corporate apparel group rose 10%. Sportswear revenue fell 9% during the quarter.

For the second quarter, VF said it now expects revenue to rise 14%, with earnings from continuing operations to rise 8%.

A comparable consensus estimate was not available, given the recent acquisition of Majestic Athletic.

VF also lifted its fiscal 2007 revenue outlook, saying revenue should rise 12.6% to approximately $7 billion for the year. It added that two recent acquisitions should contribute $180 million during the year. In February, the company estimated that 2007 revenue would rise 8%.

Earnings per share from continuing operations for the full year are now expected to increase 12%, compared with a previously forecast rise of 10%.

In January, the company sold its lingerie business to Fruit of the Loom to focus on its sportswear, jeans and outerwear businesses. The lingerie business had been a drag on profits.

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