Ann Taylor Earnings In Line - TheStreet

Ann Taylor Earnings In Line

The clothier's 2004 guidance is a little light. Also, two directors resign.
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Net earnings at

Ann Taylor


nearly doubled in the fourth quarter on a 27% jump in sales.

Meanwhile, the company announced the resignation of two of its directors.

The clothing retailer earned $31.53 million, or 65 cents a share, on $448.68 million in sales in the quarter. In the year-ago period, the company earned $16.12 million, or 35 cents a share, on sales of 352.21 million.

The fourth-quarter results met Wall Street's expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting Ann Taylor to earn 65 cents a share on $448.19 million in sales. The company projected last month that it would earn 63 cents to 65 cents a share.

For the first quarter, Ann Taylor expects profits to range from 47 cents to 49 cents a share. The company predicts full-year earnings of $2.47 to $2.57 a share.

The first-quarter guidance is in line with Wall Street's forecasts, but the full-year outlook fell a bit short. Analysts are expecting the company to earn 48 cents a share in the first quarter on $408.92 million in sales. For the full year, Wall Street is expecting profit of $2.54 a share, 2 cents more than the midpoint of Ann Taylor's guidance, on sales of $1.81 billion.

Meanwhile, Ann Taylor directors Gerald Armstrong and Tamara L. Heim are resigning, the company said.

Armstrong, the managing director of Arena Capital Partners, said he plans to spend more time with the private investment firm. Armstrong had served on Ann Taylor's board since 1989.

Heim is resigning to spend more time with her family and to assess her career options, the company said in a statement. Heim, who joined Ann Taylor's board just last month, resigned late last month as the president of




In regular trading Tuesday, Ann Taylor shares fell 32 cents, or 0.7%, to $44.59.