(Reuters) - Gildan Activewear Inc (GIL.TO) (GIL.N) reported an 84 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit powered by higher printwear sales volumes and lower cotton costs, and the clothing maker forecast current-quarter earnings above analysts' expectation.
The company expects first-quarter adjusted earnings between 28 cents and 31 cents per share, above analysts' estimates of 25 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Gildan, which supplies to the screenprint market in the United States and Canada, expects net sales in excess of $400 million for the current quarter.
The company expects fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings to be between $2.60 and $2.70 per share on net sales of about $2.10 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.51 per share on revenue of $2.22 billion.
Gildan, which makes basic clothing items such as T-shirts and socks, also increased its quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 9 cents per share.
Net income rose to $89 million, or 73 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $48.5 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, earnings were 78 cents per share.
Net sales rose 17 percent to $561.7 million.
Cotton prices are down 23 percent so far this year on expectations of weak demand amid an uncertain economic outlook.
Gildan's shares, which have risen 67 percent this year until Wednesday, closed at C$33.09 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila