Shares in True Religion Apparel Inc. shot up Friday after the high-end denim retailer posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings and boosted its forecast for the rest of 2008.

True Religion posted net income of $6.95 million (29 cents per share) a 35 percent jump from $5.16 million (22 cents) in the same period a year earlier.

Sales gained 47 percent to $53.4 million.

The company now expects 2008 sales to be as much as $225 million, better than the $214 million Wall Street had expected, according to Thomson Financial. True Religion also expects per-share earnings of $1.52 to $1.56, also ahead of analysts' predictions of $1.51 per share.

Shares in True Religion closed up 14 percent to $22.27 on Friday.

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