October 18, 2017 / 2:45 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Puma raises outlook for third time this year

* Puma sees FY sales up 14-16 pct vs previous 12-14 pct

* FY EBIT forecast also hiked

* Shares up 4 pct

* Puma, Adidas taking U.S. market share from Nike (Adds details, background)

BERLIN, Oct 18 (Reuters) - German sportswear company Puma raised its outlook for 2017 sales and operating earnings for the third time this year on Wednesday, as it reported stronger-than-expected sales growth for the third quarter.

Puma's shares jumped 4 percent after the unscheduled announcement. The company is due to report full quarterly results on Oct. 24.

Like its German rival Adidas, which reports results on Nov. 9, Puma has been enjoying a revival in the U.S. market, as shoppers snap up its fashion instead of basketball shoes, hurting Under Armour and Nike.

Nike Inc last month posted its slowest quarterly sales growth in nearly seven years in the face of the intensifying competition from Adidas and Puma and a looming price war amid sporting goods retailers.

Puma said third-quarter sales rose about 17 percent to 1.122 billion euros ($1.32 billion), compared with an average analyst forecast for 1.091 billion euros, according to Thomson Reuters Smart Estimates.

Puma said it was raising its outlook for currency-adjusted sales for the full year, to an increase of 14 to 16 percent from a previous 12 to 14 percent, due to the strong figures as well as the positive fourth-quarter outlook.

It now expects full-year earnings before interest and taxation of 235 million to 245 million euros, up from previous guidance of 205 million to 215 million and compared with average analyst forecasts of 217 million euros.

$1 = 0.8501 euros Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Larry King

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