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Ann Taylor Bullish on 2013 Despite Chilly Spring

Ann Taylor Loft, retail store


Shares of Ann Taylor and Loft parent Ann (ANN) rallied Thursday after the retailer unveiled a bullish outlook despite posting weaker-than-expected first-quarter sales as chilly weather prompted discounts.  

The New York-based women’s clothes and accessories retailer anticipates current-quarter sales of $640 million, above the consensus view of $637 million, and full-year sales of $2.54 billion, ahead of the Street’s view of $2.52 billion.

Shares of Ann ticked up about 3% to $32.01 in recent trade.

Ann reported quarterly net income of $20.9 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $28.7 million, or 58 cents a share. The results topped average analyst estimates by two pennies in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three months ended May 4 was $574.5 million, up from $560.4 million a year ago, missing the Street’s view of $580.5 million. The disappointing sales were a reflection of unseasonably cold weather that negatively affected sales of warm-weather clothes and forced Loft to run more promotions than unusual.

Yet, with the weather back to normal in May, Ann posted strong same-store sales for the month across all of its channels and brands.

CEO Kay Krill said the retailer is on track to achieve higher profitability and positive same-store sales performance in the current quarter.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton