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Shares of Ralph Lauren decline as 3rd-quarter net income, revenue miss expectations.

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NEW YORK — Ralph Lauren Corp.'s fiscal third-quarter net income fell 9 percent as the company spent more on opening new stores and marketing while revenue stayed nearly flat.

The results for the retailer missed expectations and shares and the company trimmed its 2015 revenue forecast as well. Shares of Ralph Lauren fell to a multiyear low.

The clothing and home goods maker said Wednesday net income fell to $215 million, or $2.41 per share. That compares with net income of $237 million, or $2.57 per share last year. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.52 per share.

Revenue edged up less than 1 percent to $2.03 billion in the period, from $2.02 billion which also fell short of Street forecasts. Analysts expected $2.11 billion, according to Zacks.

The New York company has been investing in its infrastructure and increasing spending on marketing and advertising to promote new products to help improve results.

CEO Ralph Lauren said the investments are the "right organizational changes to ensure a strong and healthy future for the company" in an "increasingly complex global environment."

He said the fact that the company is raising its dividend 11 percent to 50 cents per share, payable on April 10 to shareholders of record as of March 27, is a sign the company is committed to its growth objectives.

Looking forward, Ralph Lauren now expects revenue to rise about 4 percent, excluding currency fluctuations, down from a previous outlook for 5 percent to 7 percent growth.

Shares fell 18 percent, or $30.41, in afternoon trading to $140.42. Earlier shares traded at $140.24, their lowest point since June 2012.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on RL at http://www.zacks.com/ap/RL

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Keywords: Ralph Lauren, Earnings Report

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