Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) on Tuesday reported first quarter 2019 earnings that surpassed analysts’ estimates. Shares of Ralph Lauren are trading about 3% lower, however, as investors worry that North American sales will fall flat in the coming quarters.
The American fashion corporation reported earnings of USD 1.77 per share, beating estimates of USD 1.66 per share. Net income also topped expectations, rising to USD 117.1 Million in the quarter.
Ralph Lauren’s first quarter revenues grew 3% to USD 1.4 Billion. The Company was also able to repurchase 1.3 million shares of Class A common stock in the quarter. Operating margins increased by 60 basis points on a reported basis and 110 basis points on an adjusted basis.
The Company said that it expects sales for the remainder of 2019 to be under pressure from a tough retail environment and weakness in spending by foreign tourists. The news of potentially declining sales for the full-year overshadowed both the earnings and revenue beats.
The New York based Company delivered on multiple strategic initiatives in the first quarter. Ralph Lauren has been heavily focused on its ‘Win Over a New Generation of Customers’ initiative. The Company increased its marketing investment by 19% during the quarter. It also focused on an ‘Energize Core Products and Accelerate Under-Developed Categories’ initiative. This initiative led to a 1% increase in average unit retail across the Company’s direct-to-consumer network.
“We delivered first quarter results in line with our overall expectations, with better than expected operating margin and double-digit EPS growth,” said Patrice Louvet, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our performance was driven by strong continued momentum in our international markets and expense discipline across the organization, while we continued to invest in elevating our brands and stabilize our North America business against a more volatile backdrop.”