Ann Taylor Stores Corp. returned to profitability in its fiscal first quarter, helped by strong performances at both its namesake and Ann Taylor Loft stores and more full-price purchases.
President and CEO Kay Krill said Friday that shoppers responded well to spring merchandise and traffic improved during the quarter.
Its shares rose 83 cents, or 4.1 pecent, to $21.06 in morning trading.
The women's clothing retailer reported net income of $22.6 million, or 38 cents per share, for the period ended May 1, versus a net loss of $2.3 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates generally exclude one-time items, forecast a smaller profit of 35 cents per share.
Revenue climbed 12 percent to $476.2 million from $426.7 million. Wall Street expected $475 million.
Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 14.1 percent. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it measures results at existing stores while excluding those at newly opened or closed stores.
Comparable sales for the Ann Taylor brand increased 16.4 percent, while results for the Ann Taylor Loft brand rose 12.5 percent.
Total inventory per square foot fell 2.3 percent.
Ann Taylor Stores expects fiscal 2010 revenue between $1.95 billion and $1.98 billion. For the second quarter, the retailer predicts revenue will approach $500 million.
Analysts anticipate second-quarter revenue of $503.3 million and revenue of $1.96 billion for the year.
Ann Taylor Stores had 903 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, Loft and Loft outlet stores in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico at quarter's end.
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