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Iconix reports record earnings, adds Peanuts gang to licensee roster

New York — Strong organic growth from its direct-to-retail brands helped push sales and profit at Iconix Brand Group during the first quarter.

Iconix does direct business with Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Target and Costco. Sales of it Charisma brand at Costco have doubled from last year, according to Yehuda Shmidman, evp of operations.

Speaking to analysts during the company’s quarterly conference call, he added that the Cannon brand “continues to gain shelf space” at Sears. Shmidman also highlighted  Candie’s at Kohl’s, Danskin at Walmart and Joe Boxer at Kmart and Sears as other strong performers.

Net income for the quarter was $26.5 million, or 33 cents per share. Total revenue for the first quarter of 2010 was $71.7 million, up 42% from $50.5 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Neil Cole, chairman and ceo said, “We are pleased to report another record quarter for our company as we continue to deliver strong organic growth and profitability for our existing portfolio of brands. We are having continued success with our direct-to-retail strategy, where almost across the board we saw double digit sales increases. Over the past five years we have built a strong brand management platform with a powerful portfolio of 24 brands across fashion and home."

During the call this morning, Iconix Brand group also announced its acquisition of the “Peanuts” brand from E.W. Scripps Co. for $175 million.  

The company is increasing its full year 2010 revenue guidance to a range of $305 million to $315 million from $260 million to $270 million. This assumes an organic growth rate of approximately 7% and includes approximately $35 million to 40 million related to the Peanuts acquisition.

Shedding more light on the “Peanuts” deal, Cole sad the company will form a new subsidiary with the heirs of creator Charles Schulz, who will pay 20% of the cost and receive that percentage ownership. There are currently 1,200 “Peanuts” licensing agreements in 40 countries.

Cole expects the deal to close in the next 30 to 60 days.

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