I. C. Isaacs' earnings fall 73% on 12.8% drop in sales Sportswear maker blames various factors, reports a promising deal; Apparel


I. C. Isaacs & Co. yesterday reported substantially reduced sales and earnings for its fiscal first quarter, and said it had signed a three-year licensing agreement that should mean more business for the Baltimore-based maker of sportswear for men and women.

The firm said it earned $700,000, or 9 cents per share, during the three months ended March 31, a 73 percent decline from the $2.6 million, or 53 cents per share, reported a year earlier. Analysts had forecast earnings of 10 cents a share for the recent quarter.

Net sales during the quarter were $34.3 million, a 12.8 percent drop from the $39.3 million reported for the first quarter of 1997.

The company's share price fell 26 percent in one day in March, after Isaacs said its first-half results would fall short of analysts' projections. The stock, which has ranged between $3.875 and $11.75 this year, closed yesterday at $5.125, down 37.5 cents.

Executives blamed a soft retail environment, high start-up costs for new product lines and a delay in the introduction of those new products as reasons for the disappointing first quarter.

The company also said yesterday that California-based Beverly Hills Polo Club Marketing Inc. had granted it a three-year license to make boys' sportswear under the Beverly Hills Polo Club brand in the United States and Puerto Rico. The pact, whose value was not disclosed, could be extended for as many as three additional years. I. C. Isaacs already makes men's and women's wear under the Beverly Hills brand name.

I. C. Isaacs employs about 100 people at its factory on Bank Street.

Pub Date: 5/07/98

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