Liz Claiborne Inc. Posts Record 1st Quarter 2001 Sales and EPS

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Liz Claiborne Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Liz Claiborne Inc. (NYSE:   LIZ)
 announced today diluted earnings per share of $0.87 for the first quarter
 2001, an increase of 7.4% compared to diluted EPS of $0.81 for the first
 quarter 2000, excluding the impact of a special investment gain in 2000 of
 $3.0 million or $0.03 per share on an after-tax basis. Net sales for the first
 quarter 2001 were $826.7 million, up 2.1% over the comparable 2000 period.
     Paul R. Charron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: "We are
 pleased to report our first quarter results, which represent Liz Claiborne's
 twenty-first consecutive quarter of sales growth and our twenty-fifth
 consecutive quarter of growth in earnings per share (before restructuring
 charges and special investment gains). This consistent performance results
 from the successful execution of our multi-brand, multi-channel
 diversification strategy."
     Mr. Charron continued: "We are especially pleased with our first quarter
 results in light of the challenging macroeconomic and retail environments that
 continue to prevail. We will continue to take a prudent approach to planning
 our business, focusing on driving higher levels of productivity and consistent
 execution. For fiscal 2001, we reaffirm our previous guidance, remaining
 optimistic that we can achieve a 5% to 7% sales increase and an 11% to 13%
 increase in EPS, excluding last year's restructuring charges and special
 investment gain or any future stock repurchases. For the second quarter of
 2001, we are optimistic that we can achieve sales increases in the low to mid
 single digits and EPS increases in the upper single digits, excluding the
 impact of last year's restructuring charges and special investment gain or any
 future stock repurchases. In the second half of 2001, we are optimistic that
 we can achieve sales increases in the mid to upper single digits and EPS
 increases in the low to mid teens, excluding the impact of last year's
 restructuring charges and special investment gain or any future stock
 repurchases."
 
     Liz Claiborne Inc. designs and markets an extensive range of women's and
 men's fashion apparel and accessories appropriate to wearing occasions ranging
 from casual to dressy. The Company also markets fragrances for women and men.
 Liz Claiborne Inc.'s brands include -- Claiborne, Crazy Horse, Curve, Dana
 Buchman, Elisabeth, Emma James, First Issue, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Liz
 Claiborne, Lucky Brand, Meg Allen, Monet, Russ, Sigrid Olsen and Villager. In
 addition, Liz Claiborne Inc. holds the exclusive, long-term license to produce
 and sell men's and women's collections of DKNY(R) Jeans and DKNY(R) Active in
 the Western Hemisphere, as well as CITY DKNY(R) better women's sportswear. The
 Company also has the exclusive license to produce and sell women's sportswear
 under the Kenneth Cole New York, Unlisted.com and Reaction Kenneth Cole brand
 names.
 
     Statements contained herein that relate to the Company's future
 performance, including, without limitation, statements with respect to the
 Company's anticipated results of operations or level of business for 2001 or
 any other future period, are forward-looking statements within the safe harbor
 provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such
 statements are  based on current expectations only, and are subject to certain
 risks, uncertainties and assumptions.  Should one or more of these risks or
 uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect,
 actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or
 projected.  Among the factors that could cause actual results to materially
 differ include changes in regional, national, and global micro and
 macro-economic conditions, including the levels of consumer confidence and
 spending; risks related to retailer and consumer acceptance of the Company's
 products; risks associated with competition and the marketplace, including the
 financial condition of, and consolidations, restructurings and other ownership
 changes in, the apparel (and related products) industry and the retail
 industry, the introduction of new products or pricing changes by the Company's
 competitors, the Company's ability to effectively remain competitive with
 respect to product, value and service; risks associated with the Company's
 dependence on sales to a limited number of large department store customers,
 including risks related to customer requirements for vendor margin support,
 and those related to extending credit to customers; the Company's ability to
 correctly balance the level of its commitments with actual orders; the
 Company's ability to effectively distribute its product within its targeted
 markets; uncertainties relating to the Company's ability to successfully
 implement its growth strategies, integrate acquisitions, maintain product
 licenses, or successfully launch new products and lines; risks associated with
 the entry into new markets, either through internal development activities or
 acquisitions; risks associated with the possible inability of the Company's
 unaffiliated manufacturers to manufacture and deliver products in a timely
 manner, to meet quality standards or to comply with the Company's policies
 regarding labor practices; risks associated with changes in social, political,
 economic and other conditions affecting foreign operations and sourcing; and
 such other economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors
 affecting the Company's operations, markets, products, services and prices as
 are set forth in our 2000 Annual Report on Form 10-K, including, without
 limitation, those set forth under the heading "Business-Competition; Certain
 Risks". The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any
 forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
 events or otherwise.
 
     The Company will sponsor a conference call today at 10:00 am EDT to
 discuss its first quarter 2001 results.  This call will be webcast to the
 general public and can be accessed at http://www.vcall.com or via the Liz
 Claiborne website at http://www.lizclaiborne.com.
 
                              LIZ CLAIBORNE, INC.
                       CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 
                      (In Thousands Except Per Share Data)
                               Three Months Ended
                                  (Unaudited)
 
 
                                           3/31/2001               4/1/2000
 
     Net Sales                              $826,650               $809,459
     Cost of Goods Sold                      503,788                506,585
     Gross Profit                            322,862                302,874
 
     Selling, General & Administrative
      Expenses                               245,161                228,529
 
     Operating Income                         77,701                 74,345
 
     Other (Expense) Income, net                (951)                 2,299
 
     Interest (Expense), net                  (5,656)                (4,001)
 
     Income Before Provision
      for Income Taxes                        71,094                 72,643
 
     Income Tax Provision                     25,594                 26,151
     Net Income                              $45,500                $46,492
 
     Weighted Average Common
      Shares Outstanding                      51,615                 54,972
 
     Basic Earnings
      per Common Share                         $0.88                  $0.85
 
     Weighted Average Common
      Shares and Share
      Equivalents Outstanding                 52,239                 55,295
 
     Diluted Earnings
      per Common Share                         $0.87                  $0.84
 
     Supplemental Information:
       Diluted Earnings per Common Share
        Excluding Special Investment Gain      $0.87                  $0.81
 
     Dividends per Common Share (Rounded
      to the nearest penny)                    $0.11                  $0.11
 
 

SOURCE Liz Claiborne Inc.
    NEW YORK, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Liz Claiborne Inc. (NYSE:   LIZ)
 announced today diluted earnings per share of $0.87 for the first quarter
 2001, an increase of 7.4% compared to diluted EPS of $0.81 for the first
 quarter 2000, excluding the impact of a special investment gain in 2000 of
 $3.0 million or $0.03 per share on an after-tax basis. Net sales for the first
 quarter 2001 were $826.7 million, up 2.1% over the comparable 2000 period.
     Paul R. Charron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: "We are
 pleased to report our first quarter results, which represent Liz Claiborne's
 twenty-first consecutive quarter of sales growth and our twenty-fifth
 consecutive quarter of growth in earnings per share (before restructuring
 charges and special investment gains). This consistent performance results
 from the successful execution of our multi-brand, multi-channel
 diversification strategy."
     Mr. Charron continued: "We are especially pleased with our first quarter
 results in light of the challenging macroeconomic and retail environments that
 continue to prevail. We will continue to take a prudent approach to planning
 our business, focusing on driving higher levels of productivity and consistent
 execution. For fiscal 2001, we reaffirm our previous guidance, remaining
 optimistic that we can achieve a 5% to 7% sales increase and an 11% to 13%
 increase in EPS, excluding last year's restructuring charges and special
 investment gain or any future stock repurchases. For the second quarter of
 2001, we are optimistic that we can achieve sales increases in the low to mid
 single digits and EPS increases in the upper single digits, excluding the
 impact of last year's restructuring charges and special investment gain or any
 future stock repurchases. In the second half of 2001, we are optimistic that
 we can achieve sales increases in the mid to upper single digits and EPS
 increases in the low to mid teens, excluding the impact of last year's
 restructuring charges and special investment gain or any future stock
 repurchases."
 
     Liz Claiborne Inc. designs and markets an extensive range of women's and
 men's fashion apparel and accessories appropriate to wearing occasions ranging
 from casual to dressy. The Company also markets fragrances for women and men.
 Liz Claiborne Inc.'s brands include -- Claiborne, Crazy Horse, Curve, Dana
 Buchman, Elisabeth, Emma James, First Issue, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Liz
 Claiborne, Lucky Brand, Meg Allen, Monet, Russ, Sigrid Olsen and Villager. In
 addition, Liz Claiborne Inc. holds the exclusive, long-term license to produce
 and sell men's and women's collections of DKNY(R) Jeans and DKNY(R) Active in
 the Western Hemisphere, as well as CITY DKNY(R) better women's sportswear. The
 Company also has the exclusive license to produce and sell women's sportswear
 under the Kenneth Cole New York, Unlisted.com and Reaction Kenneth Cole brand
 names.
 
     Statements contained herein that relate to the Company's future
 performance, including, without limitation, statements with respect to the
 Company's anticipated results of operations or level of business for 2001 or
 any other future period, are forward-looking statements within the safe harbor
 provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such
 statements are  based on current expectations only, and are subject to certain
 risks, uncertainties and assumptions.  Should one or more of these risks or
 uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect,
 actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or
 projected.  Among the factors that could cause actual results to materially
 differ include changes in regional, national, and global micro and
 macro-economic conditions, including the levels of consumer confidence and
 spending; risks related to retailer and consumer acceptance of the Company's
 products; risks associated with competition and the marketplace, including the
 financial condition of, and consolidations, restructurings and other ownership
 changes in, the apparel (and related products) industry and the retail
 industry, the introduction of new products or pricing changes by the Company's
 competitors, the Company's ability to effectively remain competitive with
 respect to product, value and service; risks associated with the Company's
 dependence on sales to a limited number of large department store customers,
 including risks related to customer requirements for vendor margin support,
 and those related to extending credit to customers; the Company's ability to
 correctly balance the level of its commitments with actual orders; the
 Company's ability to effectively distribute its product within its targeted
 markets; uncertainties relating to the Company's ability to successfully
 implement its growth strategies, integrate acquisitions, maintain product
 licenses, or successfully launch new products and lines; risks associated with
 the entry into new markets, either through internal development activities or
 acquisitions; risks associated with the possible inability of the Company's
 unaffiliated manufacturers to manufacture and deliver products in a timely
 manner, to meet quality standards or to comply with the Company's policies
 regarding labor practices; risks associated with changes in social, political,
 economic and other conditions affecting foreign operations and sourcing; and
 such other economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors
 affecting the Company's operations, markets, products, services and prices as
 are set forth in our 2000 Annual Report on Form 10-K, including, without
 limitation, those set forth under the heading "Business-Competition; Certain
 Risks". The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any
 forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
 events or otherwise.
 
     The Company will sponsor a conference call today at 10:00 am EDT to
 discuss its first quarter 2001 results.  This call will be webcast to the
 general public and can be accessed at http://www.vcall.com or via the Liz
 Claiborne website at http://www.lizclaiborne.com.
 
                              LIZ CLAIBORNE, INC.
                       CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 
                      (In Thousands Except Per Share Data)
                               Three Months Ended
                                  (Unaudited)
 
 
                                           3/31/2001               4/1/2000
 
     Net Sales                              $826,650               $809,459
     Cost of Goods Sold                      503,788                506,585
     Gross Profit                            322,862                302,874
 
     Selling, General & Administrative
      Expenses                               245,161                228,529
 
     Operating Income                         77,701                 74,345
 
     Other (Expense) Income, net                (951)                 2,299
 
     Interest (Expense), net                  (5,656)                (4,001)
 
     Income Before Provision
      for Income Taxes                        71,094                 72,643
 
     Income Tax Provision                     25,594                 26,151
     Net Income                              $45,500                $46,492
 
     Weighted Average Common
      Shares Outstanding                      51,615                 54,972
 
     Basic Earnings
      per Common Share                         $0.88                  $0.85
 
     Weighted Average Common
      Shares and Share
      Equivalents Outstanding                 52,239                 55,295
 
     Diluted Earnings
      per Common Share                         $0.87                  $0.84
 
     Supplemental Information:
       Diluted Earnings per Common Share
        Excluding Special Investment Gain      $0.87                  $0.81
 
     Dividends per Common Share (Rounded
      to the nearest penny)                    $0.11                  $0.11
 
 SOURCE  Liz Claiborne Inc.