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rise 12 pct@ (Adds profit estimates, background, share movement)
May 9 (Reuters) - Tapestry Inc beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter profit on better-than-expected sales of its Coach and Kate Spade handbags, and announced a $1 billion share buyback program, sending its shares up 12 percent.
The Kate Spade brand has suffered from a lack of new designs and heavy discounting that hit sales in recent years. The company last year hired designer Nicola Glass, whose designs resonated well with shoppers in the quarter, helping the brand post better-than-expected sales.
Same-store sales at Kate Spade fell 3 percent, compared with analysts' estimate of a 4.04 percent decline, according to IBES data from Refinitiv estimates.
"(The company) generated a significant sequential comp improvement at Kate Spade with Nicola Glass's new collection resonating with consumers globally," Chief Executive Officer Victor Luis said.
Comparable sales at Coach, which contributes about 72 percent to the company's business, rose 1 percent in the quarter, also topping the average estimate of a 0.84 percent rise.
Excluding items, the company reported a profit of 42 cents per share in the third quarter ended March 30, beating analysts' estimates by 1 cent.
Net sales rose nearly 1 percent to $1.33 billion from $1.32 billion, a year earlier. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)