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Check Out Line: Warnaco CEO sees Olympic gold for Speedo


phelps.jpgCheck out Warnaco Inc’s Olympic dreams.

Clothing company Warnaco got to boast about the strength of its Calvin Klein jeans and underwear business last week when it reported much better-than-expected earnings and raised its full-year outlook.

Now the company, whose stock rose 6 percent yesterday to a new 52-week high, says it is feeling “the Phelps factor” as U.S. Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps racks up the gold medals in Beijing, at times while wearing the company’s new Speedo LZR suit.

“Michael’s been a spokesperson for us, he’s been a model in catalogs for us. He’s a spokesperson of the brand,” said Warnaco CEO Joe Gromek in an interview on Tuesday on the business news cable television channel CNBC.  

The benefits of wearing a LZR, which can cost up to $550, has sparked controversy in the international swimming community. CNBC cited murmurs of “technological doping” as experts question whether it can actually boost swimmers’ performances.