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Liz Claiborne posts 6% drop in sales
11
Nov '08
Liz Claiborne Inc. today announced earnings for the third quarter and first nine months of 2008. For the third quarter of 2008 and on a GAAP basis, the loss per share from continuing operations was ($0.10) compared to diluted earnings per share ("EPS") from continuing operations of $0.33 for the third quarter of 2007.

Adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2008 were $0.39 compared to adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.60 for the third quarter of 2007. Net sales from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2008 were approximately $1.015 billion, a decrease of $192 million, or 15.9%, from the comparable 2007 period, inclusive of a $181 million decrease associated with brands or certain brand activities that have been licensed, closed or exited and have not been presented as part of discontinued operations.

For the first nine months of 2008, the loss per share from continuing operations was ($0.33) compared to diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.48 for the first nine months of 2007. Adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations for the first nine months of 2008 were $0.83 compared to adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.94 for the first nine months of 2007. These results include the $0.09 per share benefit from the reclassification of the first half of 2008 results of the Enyce and Narciso Rodriguez brands to discontinued operations.

Net sales from continuing operations for the first nine months of 2008 were approximately $3.074 billion, a decrease of $196 million, or 6.0%, from the comparable 2007 period, inclusive of a $299 million decrease associated with brands or certain brand activities that have been licensed, closed or exited and have not been presented as part of discontinued operations.

The Company is tightening its adjusted diluted EPS guidance for the full year 2008 to a range of $1.02 - $1.07. The adjusted results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2008 and 2007 and the adjusted projected full year 2008 results on a continuing operations basis exclude the impact of expenses incurred in connection with the Company's streamlining and brand- exiting activities and non-cash trademark impairment charges.

The Company believes that the adjusted results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2008 and 2007 and the adjusted projected results for fiscal 2008 represent a more meaningful presentation of its historical and estimated operations and financial performance since these results provide period to period comparisons that are consistent and more easily understood. The attached tables, captioned "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Information", provide a full reconciliation of actual results to the adjusted results.

William L. McComb, Chief Executive Officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., said: "Third quarter adjusted EPS from continuing operations were $0.39 in this significantly challenging macroeconomic environment, primarily driven by better than forecasted expense controls, which offset a top line which was below our expectations. We continued to benefit from our streamlining activities, which generated a $25 million year over year reduction in adjusted SG&A in the quarter.

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