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April 7, 2020, 4:40 p.m. EDT

Levi Strauss's profit, sales top views, retailer withdraws guidance

Levi Strauss & Co. (NYS:LEVI) shares rose 1% in the extended session Tuesday after the retailer reported fiscal first-quarter profit and sales above Wall Street expectations, benefiting from Black Friday earlier in the quarter but suffering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic by mid-quarter mainly in its business in Asia. Levi Strauss said it earned $153 million in the quarter, which ended Feb. 23, or 37 cents a share, compared with $147 million, also 37 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 5% to $1.5 billion, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet expected Levi Strauss to report GAAP earnings of 36 cents a share on sales of $1.46 billion for the quarter. Levi Strauss said its Levi's brand has "endured" through world wars, the 1918 flu pandemic, and other catastrophes and has the experience to "weather the crisis." The company said it would pay a dividend of 8 cents a share in the second quarter, and it was withdrawing its 2020 guidance for the year due to the economic uncertainty. The "adverse impact to the company's second-quarter net revenues, earnings and cash flows is expected to be materially significant," it said. Shares of Levi Strauss had ended the regular trading day up 9.8%.

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