Hanesbrands posts narrower-than-expected 1st-qtr loss

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* Q1 loss/shr $0.27 vs est loss/shr $0.33

* Q1 rev $1.01 bln vs est $1 bln

* Backs FY EPS $2.50-$2.60 vs est $2.52

* Shares up 2 percent in after-market trade

April 19 (Reuters) – Hanesbrands Inc posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss as price increases helped offset rising cotton costs, sending the underwear maker’s shares up about 2 percent in aftermarket trade.

The company also backed its full-year earnings outlook — largely above analysts’ estimates — and said it will benefit from a declining inventory for the rest of the year.

“With the worst of the cotton inflation behind us, our operating profit margin for the remainder of the year should average in the low double digits,” Hanes Chief Executive Officer Richard Noll said in a statement.

Operating profit margin was 0.6 percent in the first quarter.

The company, whose rivals include Limited Brands Inc’s Victoria’s Secret and Maidenform Brands Inc, posted a first-quarter net loss of $26.8 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with earnings of $48.1 million, or 49 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts, on average, had expected the company to post a loss of 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Hanesbrands, which owns Hanes, Champion and Wonderbra brands, said net sales were down 3 percent at $1.01 billion, above analysts’ estimates of $1 billion.

Hanesbrands shares were up about 2 percent at $27.40 in aftermarket trading. They had closed at $26.94 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/19/hanesbrands-idUSL3E8FJAV620120419

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