Urban Outfitters Profit Up 72 Percent on Strong Sales

Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) Thursday reported a 72 percent jump in quarterly profit, beating the average Wall Street forecast, due to cost controls and higher sales.

But its stock fell more than 3 percent, and one analyst cited profit-taking.

"This is basically a report that people were expecting," said Adrienne Tennant of Wedbush Morgan Securities, adding that the stock had risen in anticipation of solid earnings. "It's a very expensive name. People are just taking profits."

The Philadelphia-based company said customer reaction was strong to the spring assortments from all of its brands, making it "cautiously optimistic" about results for the season.

The retailer, which operates Anthropologie (search), Urban Outfitters and Free People (search) stores, said profit rose to $31.7 million, or 38 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, from $18.4 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, expected 36 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales rose to $251.6 million from $176.1 million a year earlier.

Like most retailers, Urban Outfitters said it was reviewing the accounting treatment for its leases.

"At this time, the company has not determined whether (accounting) changes will require a restatement of prior period financial statements," it said.

Urban Outfitters shares were down $1.82 to $45.70 on Nasdaq, below their year high of $48.47.