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What: Shares of fashionista True Religion
So what: On an absolute basis, it was a pretty decent quarter for the seller of premium jeans. Sales jumped 19.5% to $111 million, from $93 million last year, but earnings per share only managed a 7% increase. However, both sales and EPS were ahead of Wall Street estimates. The company's direct-to-consumer segment was killing it during the quarter, registering 38% growth and same-store-sales growth of 7.2%. However, that was offset a bit by the company's wholesale segment -- which sells through department stores like Nordstrom
Now what: What was a bit confusing about the market's reaction to True Religion's earnings is that the excitement over the stronger-than-expected quarter was able to hold up in the face of soft guidance. For 2011, the company projected $405 million in sales, just shy of analysts' estimates. However, EPS is seen coming in at $1.80, well below the $2.02 that Wall Street had estimated. Assuming we use adjusted 2010 per-share profit, $1.80 in 2011 EPS would represent the second year in a row that earnings per share fell. The company is still in a bit of a transition phase as it continues to increase its focus on its direct-to-consumer segment, and, to be sure, at less than 13 times adjusted 2010 EPS the stock is hardly expensive, but investors should probably be asking when higher sales will mean higher profits for them.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.