Children's Place 4Q Net Sinks; $50M Buyback Announced

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Children’s clothing retailer Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) reported Wednesday a 25% drop in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings due to lower-than-expected sales. 

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The company also announced a stock buyback program totaling $50 million.

For the quarter ended Jan. 28, Children's Place reported a profit of $24.2 million, or 98 cents per share, down from $32.1 million, or $1.23 per share, in the previous year.

The company has projected earnings of $1.03 to $1.08 per share for the current quarter, and predicts earnings of $3.10 to $3.30 per share for the year. 

Thomson Reuters analysts had expected current quarter earnings of $1.14 and annual earnings of $3.64.

Children’s Place attributed the softness to higher product costs and unseasonably warm January weather, which forced it to prematurely mark down coats, pants, and other winter items.

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In 2012, the company says it will rely heavily on growth of e-commerce, improved merchandise selection and inventory management.

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