(By Balachander) V.F. Corp. (NYSE: VFC) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and the apparel retailer lifted its 2012 guidance boosted its quarterly dividend by 21 percent.
On an adjusted basis, earnings per share (EPS) grew 23 percent to $3.52, beating Wall Street projections of $3.49. Net earnings attributable to VF increased 27 percent to $381.3 million.
Total revenue rose 14.5 percent to $3.15 billion, matching market expectations. On an organic basis, revenue grew 6 percent in constant dollars.
Gross margin improved 140 basis points to 46.7 percent for the third quarter.
Looking ahead for the fourth quarter, the expects adjusted EPS growth of just over 30 percent on constant dollar revenue growth of around 7 percent.
For the full year, the company now expects EPS to be roughly $9.60, up 10 cents from its prior outlook. Revenue is still projected to be $10.9 billion. Analysts' expect EPS of $9.54 on revenue of $10.96 billion.
V.F. expects gross margin to expand roughly 80 basis points in 2012, helped by a substantial improvement in the fourth quarter.
The company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.87 per share, payable December 20, 2012 to shareholders of record on December 10, 2012.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $125.55 to $169.82, ended at $166.77 on Friday.