Ann Taylor Shares Grow on Rosy Outlook

By RetailFOXBusiness

Ann Taylor (NYSE:ANN) reported disappointing fourth-quarter sales on Friday but investors cheered its upbeat current-quarter and full-year outlook.

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Shares of Ann ticked up more than 7% to $31.06 following the results.

The New York-based women’s apparel retailer reported net income of $2.4 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $2.2 million, or 4 cents. The EPS results topped average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by four pennies.

Revenue for the three months ended Feb. 2 grew to $607.7 million from $566.7 million a year ago, missing the Street’s view of $617.8 million.

Same-store sales, an important measurement of sales at stores open longer than a year, slumped 0.7%, weighed down by Hurricane Sandy and softer sales at Loft, blamed on poor customer reception to its line of bright colors.

However, Ann predicts sales in the current quarter will be $600 million, reflecting same-store growth in the low-single digits range. That would put them above the consensus view of $593.3 million.

“Looking ahead, we are well-positioned to build on our progress and further grow our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands,” said Ann CEO Kay Krill. “We see significant potential to expand the reach of both brands and are very excited about the progress we are achieving as we continue to execute on our growth strategies.”

In fiscal 2013, it anticipates revenues of $2.56 billion, above the Street view of $2.51 billion.

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