Urban Outfitters See Drop in Profit but Tops Wall Street

Urban Outfitters announced that its earnings dropped during the all important holiday quarter, which marked the second straight decline by the retailer in annual profit.

Nevertheless, the company’s results were better than had been projected by Wall Street, which helped to send its shares up 5.7% in late trading.

For the reporting period that ended January 31, the retailer posted a $72.9 million profit equal to 61 cents per share, in comparison to a profit of $80.3 million equal to 60 cents per share for the same period one year earlier.

The results from the current year are based upon a decline of 16% in the total number of outstanding shares, which helped the company preserve the payout per share.

Analysts were expecting the apparel retailer to record a profit of 56 cents per share.

The gross profit margin or percentage of sales the company makes after taking into account production costs, sat at 34.5%, which was slightly lower than last periods 34.6%.

Sales, which Urban Outfitters already had reported in February, were flat compared to the same period one year ago at just over $1.01 billion.

The retailer, based in Philadelphia, which opened for the first time during 1970 close to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania has grown into a clothing company that is multinational with over $3 billion in worldwide sales under the names Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN.

The retailer reported a slowdown in sales at its two biggest brands, Anthropologie Group and Urban Outfitters. The Anthropologie Group also includes Terrain and BHLDN.

The majority of retailers posted sales and profit that disappointed for the crucial holiday season shopping quarter.

A number of them were hit by the extremely warm unseasonable weather that kept them from selling winter weather apparel.

One of the few to report positive numbers for the quarter was J.C. Penney, as the retailer continues its return upward.

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David Glass

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