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Parents are still buying new clothes for their kids, but are turning to retailers who will give them the most bang for their buck -- or such is our read on today's earnings report from

Children's Place

(PLCE) - Get Children's Place, Inc. Report

. The company, which offers lower priced apparel then its rival

Gymboree

(GYMB)

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, reported a 21% jump in first-quarter profit, buoyed by lower expenses and a tax benefit.

The company earned $23.5 million during the quarter, or 79 cents a share, from $19.5 million, or 67 cents, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs and other items, its earnings were $21.8 million, or 74 cents per share, a penny shy of analysts' expectations.

Sales edged up to $401.9 million from $400.2 million, while total same-store sales grew 1%.

The company is in the midst of a proxy fight with its biggest shareholder and ex-chief executive, Ezra Dabah, who has become increasingly concerned about the current board and management's ability to grow the company and deliver value to shareholders.

On Wednesday, Gymboree said its earnings slid 13%, but still beat analysts' expectations. During the quarter, the company saw its profit slip to $21.8 million, or 74 cents per share, while its sales declined 5% to $230.9 million.

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