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Talbots Forecasts Improved Full-Year Earnings

HINGHAM, Mass. ( TheStreet) -- Talbots (TLB) is forecasting an improvement in full-year and second-quarter earnings after reporting a better-than-expected first quarter.

Excluding special items, the company is expecting full-year adjusted earnings from continuing operations of about 75 cents to 83 cents a share, compared with an adjusted loss from continuing operations of 10 cents a share in the year-ago period. For the second quarter, Talbots anticipates adjusted earnings from continuing operations of about a breakeven level to 5 cents a share, compared with last year's adjusted loss from continuing operations of 33 cents a share.

Wall Street's average earnings estimates for the full-year and second quarter have been 73 cents a share and 5 cents a share, respectively.

For the first quarter, Talbots reported loss from continuing operations of $7.1 million or 12 cents a share, compared with last year's loss from continuing operations of $18.8 million or 35 cents a share. Excluding items, first quarter income from continuing operations increased $34.1 million to $21.7 million or 38 cents a share, compared with last year's adjusted loss from continuing operations of $12.4 million or 23 cents a share.

During the quarter, the company experienced a 2.4% decline in selling, general and administrative expenses over the prior year, and a total inventory decrease of 17.9%.

Total sales for the quarter increased 4.7% to $320.7 million, compared with $306.2 million last year, as comparable store sales increased 2.4% in the quarter due to continued improvement in full-price selling.

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Wall Street analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $323.07 million.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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