Liz Claiborne Inc (NYSE: LIZ) announced today record diluted earnings per share of $0.58 for the second quarter 2000, an increase of 16.0 per cent compared with diluted EPS of $0.50 for the second quarter 1999. Net sales for the second quarter 2000 were a record $661.7 million, up 8.9 per cent over the comparable 1999 period. Year to date, excluding pre-tax income related to a special investment gain of $3.0 million, diluted EPS was $1.38, an increase of 15.0 per cent compared with diluted EPS of $1.20 for the first six months of 1999. Net sales were a record $1.471 billion for the first six months of 2000 compared with $1.308 billion for the comparable 1999 period, a 12.4 per cent increase.

Paul R. Charron, chairman and chief executive officer, stated: ``We are pleased to report our second quarter results, which represent Liz Claiborne's eighteenth consecutive quarter of sales growth and our twenty-second consecutive quarter of growth in earnings per share (before restructuring charges). This performance, together with our strong sales and EPS gains during the quarter, validates the benefits of our diversified portfolio strategy. We continued the execution of this strategy in the second quarter with the announcements of the pending acquisition of the Monet Group, the launch of Elisabeth.com, the introduction of our Niki Taylor apparel line for Target, as well as the repurchase of approximately 2 million shares of Liz Claiborne stock.''

Mr. Charron continued: ``We are especially pleased with these results in light of the challenging macroeconomic and retail environments that our industry faced during the first six months of this year. In spite of these factors, we are optimistic that, with our diversified portfolio, we can generate a very high single digit sales increase in the second half giving us a low double digit sales increase for the full year, as well as meet the upper end of our 10 per cent to 15 per cent EPS growth target for the year.''

For more information visit the Liz Claiborne website at http://www.lizclaiborne.com.

LIZ CLAIBORNE, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Unaudited)
 
 
(In Thousands Except Per Share Data)
 
Three Months Ended
Six Months Ended
 
7/1/2000
7/3/1999
7/1/2000
7/3/1999
 
Net Sales
$661,667
$607,675
$1,471,126
$1,308,464
Cost of Goods Sold
393,913
370,664
900,498
808,821
Gross Profit
267,754
237,011
570,628
499,643
 
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses
214,802
188,334
443,331
381,224
 
Operating Income
52,952
48,677
127,297
118,419
 
Other Income (Expense), net
19
(333)
2,318
(599)
 
Interest (Expense) Income, net
(3,827)
1,317
(7,828)
2,254
 
Income before Provision For Income Taxes
49,144
49,661
121,787
120,074
 
Income Tax Provision
17,692
18,100
43,843
43,800
Net Income
$31,452
$31,561
$77,944
$76,274
 
Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding
54,049
63,240
54,510
63,600
 
Basic Earnings per Common Share
$0.58
$0.50
$1.43
$1.20
 
Weighted Average Common Shares and Share Equivalents Outstanding
54,525
63,433
54,910
63,777
 
Diluted Earnings per Common Share
$0.58
$0.50
$1.42
$1.20
 
Diluted Earnings per Common Share Excluding Special Investment Gain
$0.58
$0.50
$1.38
$1.20
 

Dividends per Common Share (Rounded to the nearest penny)

$0.11
$0.11
$0.23
$0.23