Carter's shares plunge after weak outlook

mercoledì 23 aprile 2008 20:12

By Swagata Gupta

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Children's clothing retailer Carter's Inc (CRI.N: Quotazione) cut its 2008 earnings outlook as it sees continued weakness in its OshKosh retail stores and consumer spending, sending its shares down to their lowest in more than three years.

The company, which also warned of a higher inventory, said it expects 2008 earnings to be down 5 percent or more.

In February, the company forecast 2008 earnings to be flat year-over-year. It had reported adjusted earnings of $1.37 a share and total net sales of $1.41 billion for 2007.

"It's no surprise that this remains an uncertain period. No one knows the depth of this recession or the timing of the recovery. Given that, it makes it very difficult to gather the market with any certainty," Chief Executive Fred Rowan said in a conference call.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $1.36 a share, before items, on revenue of $1.45 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

OshKosh, which was bought by Carter's in July 2005, has weighed on the company's profitability throughout last year.

On Tuesday, Carter's reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit, but said sales of its OshKosh brand fell 11 percent to $62.8 million.

OshKosh might swing back to profitability in the second half of the year, Monness, Crespi & Hardt analyst Jim Chartier said.   Continua...

<p>An OshKosh store is seen in an undated handout photo. REUTERS/PRNewsFoto</p>