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Blue Nile Surges

Shares jump 16% after the online jewelry seller tops estimates and boosts guidance.
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Shares of

Blue Nile

(NILE)

swelled Tuesday after the online jewelry seller posted better-than-expected first-quarter results and boosted its guidance for the full year.

The stock recently was up $7.60, or 16%, to $54.95.

Late Monday, Seattle-based Blue Nile said its net income rose to $3.2 million, or 19 cents a share, from $2.4 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales increased 34% to $67.9 million.

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Analysts polled by Thomson Financial projected earnings of 15 cents a share and sales of $62.1 million. The company's own forecast, given in February, called for earnings of 14 cents to 15 cents a share and sales of $61 million to $63 million.

Blue Nile said in its earnings release that it gained significant traction with customers, particularly among high spenders.

"While all product categories were strong in the first quarter, we are particularly enthusiastic about the performance of jewelry at price points above $25,000," the company said. "Our net sales in these price points rose 84% year over year in the first quarter, representing our fastest growth product category and reflecting the growing appeal of the Blue Nile brand."

For the second quarter, Blue Nile forecast earnings of 16 cents to 17 cents a share, with sales of $65.5 million to $67.5 million. Wall Street predicted earnings of 18 cents a share and sales of $66.8 million.

Looking ahead, the company now sees full-year earnings of 86 cents to 91 cents a share, up from a prior guidance of 80 cents to 85 cents. Blue Nile projects sales of $295 million to $305 million, compared with its earlier forecast of $290 million to $300 million.

Wall Street predicts full-year earnings of 86 cents a share and sales of $300 million.