Ann Inc. , owner of Ann Taylor and LOFT women's apparel chains, said Friday it had net income of $13.5 million, or 29 cents a share, in the first quarter, up from $5.18 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding an 8 cents restructuring charge, earnings came to 37 cents a share, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 32 cents. Sales rose to $597.7 million from $590.6 million, but were slightly below the FactSet consensus of $605 million. "The results reflected a weak February but positive comparable sales performance at both Ann Taylor and LOFT in the combined March and April period, as clients responded positively to our new Spring assortments that coincided with the onset of warmer weather," Chief Executive Kay Krill said in a statement. The company, which is being acquired by Ascena Retail Group, said it is expecting second-quarter sales of $660 million, and same-store sales that are slightly positive. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are up 30% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.5%.
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