GUESS?, INC. REPORTS RECORD RESULTS Q4 EPS Reached a Record of $0.93 Compared to $0.51 Last Year

Fiscal Year 2010 EPS Reached a Record of $2.61 Compared to $2.25 Last Year

Provides Q1 Fiscal Year 2011 EPS Guidance in the Range of $0.46 to $0.48

Provides Fiscal Year 2011 EPS Guidance in the Range of $2.87 to $2.95

Increases Quarterly Dividend 28% to 16 Cents per Share

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2010 Highlights

- Global revenues increased 14% to a record of $642 million

- European revenues increased 24%

- North American retail revenues increased 7%; comp sales increased 5.3%

- Operating margin, excluding impairment charges, improved to 19.5% from 16.2%

Fiscal Year 2010 Highlights

- Global revenues increased 2% to a record of more than $2.1 billion

- Operating margin, excluding impairment charges, improved to 17.1% from 16.9%

- Operating cash flow increased 57% to $358 million

LOS ANGELES, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Guess?, Inc. (NYSE: GES) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 30, 2010.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2010 Results

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company reported net earnings of $86.6 million, an increase of 80.7% compared to net earnings of $47.9 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2009.  Diluted earnings per share increased 82.4% to $0.93 in the current quarter versus $0.51 in the prior-year quarter.  In the quarter, the Company recorded a $4.3 million non-cash asset impairment charge (compared to $22.3 million in the prior year fourth quarter) related to long-lived assets associated with retail stores, primarily in North America.  Excluding the impairment charges, the Company's adjusted net earnings were $89.3 million in the current fourth quarter, an increase of 44.0% compared to adjusted net earnings of $62.0 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2009.  Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 45.5% to $0.96 from $0.66 in the comparable period last year.

Paul Marciano, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Today, our brands enjoy outstanding momentum worldwide and a very strong competitive position.  We believe our reported results clearly validate the relevance of our brands and our success.  We remain focused on our long-term strategies and we continue to see tremendous opportunities to increase sales productivity and expand further across the globe.  This year, we will reignite our plans for growth and invest in retail expansion, both in North America and Europe.  We will also continue building our infrastructure and resume investing in marketing programs to further increase consumer awareness of our brands."

Mr. Marciano continued, "Our performance in the fourth quarter exceeded our expectations in almost every measure, with each business posting strong top line growth and solid margin improvements.  We delivered great product that resonated well with our customers and drove a double-digit revenue increase.  We managed the business well and controlled our costs and our inventories effectively.  These results set a new record and closed a strong year for Guess?, in spite of the many challenges posed by a difficult economic environment.  This was a year in which we expanded our international business, improved the profitability of our new businesses, fully restored our operating margin structure and generated strong cash flows."

Mr. Marciano concluded, "We are pleased with our record results this past year and we are very excited about our future.  Our strategy remains intact.  We have a strong portfolio of lifestyle brands with significant momentum worldwide.  We have a highly diversified business model that produces outstanding results.  Our capital structure has never been more solid, with more than half a billion dollars in cash and no debt.  And we have a highly motivated and seasoned management team, capable of delivering in both prosperous and challenging times.  This is a powerful combination that positions us well to achieve our objectives for growth and profitability."

Total net revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 increased 14.4% to $642.0 million from $561.1 million in the prior fourth quarter period.  During the quarter, the Company's retail stores in North America generated revenue of $309.4 million, a 7.2% increase from $288.6 million in the prior-year quarter.  Comparable store sales for the current fourth quarter increased 5.3% (2.0% in constant dollars) compared to the same period a year ago.  The Company operated 432 retail stores in the United States and Canada at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 versus 425 stores a year earlier.

The Company's wholesale segment, which includes its Asian operations, generated revenue of $84.7 million during the quarter, a 21.1% increase from $69.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

The Company's European segment generated revenue of $222.6 million during the quarter, an increase of 23.7% when compared to $179.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

The Company's licensing segment generated revenue of $25.4 million, a 12.3% increase from $22.6 million in the prior-year period.

Operating earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 increased 76.3% to $120.7 million (including a $7.8 million favorable currency translation benefit) from $68.5 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year.  Operating earnings in the current period included a $4.3 million non-cash asset impairment charge, compared to a $22.3 million charge in the prior-year period.  Operating margin in the fourth quarter increased 660 basis points to 18.8%, compared to the prior year's quarter.  This operating margin improvement was driven by stronger product margins in all segments and lower asset impairment charges, partially offset by higher performance-based compensation expense, primarily due to the reversal of certain compensation accruals in the prior-year period.

The Company's net earnings were impacted by a higher effective tax rate in the current quarter.  For the fourth quarter, the tax rate was 29.9%, compared to 22.9% in the prior year's quarter.  The higher quarterly tax rate resulted from finalization of the annual effective tax rates in both years.

Excluding the non-cash impairment charges, adjusted operating earnings increased 37.7% to $125.0 million from $90.7 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year period.  Adjusted operating margin increased 330 basis points to 19.5% from 16.2% in the prior year period.

Fiscal Year 2010 Results

For the fiscal year ended January 30, 2010, the Company reported net earnings of $242.8 million, an increase of 13.7% compared to net earnings of $213.6 million for the year ended January 31, 2009.  Diluted earnings per share increased 16.0% to $2.61 in fiscal year 2010 versus $2.25 in the prior year.  Excluding asset impairment charges of $4.7 million in the current fiscal year and $24.4 million in the prior year, the Company's adjusted net earnings were $245.7 million, an increase of 7.3% compared to adjusted net earnings of $229.0 million for the year ended January 31, 2009.  Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 9.5% to $2.64 from $2.41 in the prior year.

Total net revenue for fiscal year 2010 increased 1.7% to $2.13 billion from $2.09 billion in the prior year.  The Company's retail stores in North America generated revenue of $983.9 million for fiscal year 2010, an increase of 0.6% from $978.0 million in the prior year.  Comparable store sales for fiscal 2010 decreased 4.5% compared to the same period a year ago.

Net revenue from the Company's wholesale segment, which includes its Asian operations, increased 1.3% in fiscal year 2010 to $300.0 million from $296.2 million in the prior year.

Net revenue from the Company's European segment increased 3.9% to $747.2 million in fiscal year 2010, compared to $719.0 million in the prior year.

Licensing segment net revenue decreased 2.9% to $97.4 million in fiscal year 2010, compared to $100.3 million in the prior year.

Operating earnings for fiscal year 2010 increased 9.1% to $358.8 million (including a negative $7.8 million currency translation impact), from $328.8 million in the prior year.  Operating earnings in the current year included $4.7 million in non-cash asset impairment charges, compared to $24.4 million in the prior-year period.  Operating margin for fiscal year 2010 increased by 120 basis points to 16.9%.  This margin improvement was driven by stronger product margins in North America and Asia and lower impairment charges, partially offset by occupancy cost deleverage due to the negative comparable store sales in North America, along with a higher mix of European owned retail stores.

The Company's net earnings benefited from a lower effective tax rate in fiscal 2010.  For the year, the tax rate was 31.9%, compared to 32.6% in the prior year.  The lower tax rate was due primarily to an increase of profits in lower tax jurisdictions.

Excluding the non-cash impairment charges, fiscal 2010 adjusted operating earnings increased 2.9% to $363.5 million from $353.2 million in fiscal 2009.  Fiscal 2010 adjusted operating margin increased 20 basis points to 17.1% from 16.9% in fiscal 2009.

Outlook

For the first quarter ending May 1, 2010, the Company’s expectations are as follows:

  • Consolidated net revenues are expected to range from $495 million to $510 million.
  • Operating margin is expected to be about 12.5%.
  • Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $0.46 to $0.48.

For the fiscal year ending January 29, 2011, the Company’s expectations are as follows:

  • Consolidated net revenues are expected to range from $2.30 billion to $2.35 billion.
  • Operating margin is expected to be about 17%.
  • Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $2.87 to $2.95.

Dividend

The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved an increase of its quarterly cash dividend to 16 cents per share on the Company's common stock, a 28% increase over its most recent quarterly dividend.  This dividend will be payable on April 16, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 31, 2010.

Adjusted Results

The adjusted results for the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2010 discussed herein exclude the impact of non-cash asset impairment charges related to long-lived assets associated with the Company's retail stores located in North America, Asia and Europe.  These adjusted results are provided to enhance the user's overall understanding of the Company's historical operations and financial performance.  Specifically, the Company believes the adjusted results provide investors with relevant period-to-period comparisons that are consistent and more easily understood.  The unaudited adjusted results are provided in addition to, and not as alternatives for, the Company's reported results determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  A complete reconciliation of actual results to the adjusted results appears below in the table entitled "Reconciliation of Reported Statement of Income to the Adjusted Statement of Income."

The Company will hold a conference call at 4:30 pm (ET) on March 17, 2010 to discuss the news announced in this press release.  A live webcast of the conference call will be accessible at www.guessinc.com via the "Investor's Info" link.  The webcast will be archived on the website for 30 days.

Guess?, Inc. designs, markets, distributes and licenses a lifestyle collection of contemporary apparel, denim, handbags, watches, footwear and other related consumer products.  As of January 30, 2010, the Company operated 432 retail stores in the United States and Canada and 778 retail stores outside of the United States and Canada, of which 125 were directly owned.  The Company also distributes its products through better department and specialty stores around the world.  For more information about the Company, please visit www.guessinc.com.

Except for historical information contained herein, certain matters discussed in this press release, including statements concerning the Company's growth plans and future prospects, including guidance for the first quarter and full year of fiscal 2011, are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements are only expectations, and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results in future periods to differ materially from what is currently anticipated.  Factors which may cause actual results in future periods to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, domestic and international economic conditions, including economic and other events that could negatively impact consumer confidence and discretionary consumer spending; our ability to, among other things, anticipate consumer preferences, effectively operate our various retail concepts, effectively manage inventories and successfully execute our strategies, including our supply chain and international growth strategies; and risks associated with changes in economic, political, social and other conditions affecting our foreign operations, including currency fluctuations.  In addition to these factors, the economic, litigation-related and other risks identified in the Company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the risk factors discussed therein, could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

Contact:

Guess?, Inc.


Investor Relations


(213) 765-5578



Guess?, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)



















Three Months Ended


Twelve Months Ended




January 30,


January 31,


January 30,


January 31,




2010


2009


2010


2009




$

%


$

%


$

%


$

%















Net revenue














Product sales


$    616,625

96.0%


$   538,440

96.0%


$ 2,031,114

95.4%


$ 1,993,125

95.2%


Net royalties


25,405

4.0%


22,630

4.0%


97,352

4.6%


100,265

4.8%




642,030

100.0%


561,070

100.0%


2,128,466

100.0%


2,093,390