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Claire's Stores'


first-quarter earnings jumped 7% from a year ago, beating estimates, thanks to brisk sales of costume jewelry and accessories to its teenage clientele.

The company earned $29.7 million, or 30 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $27.7 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 7.5% from a year ago to $302.7 million. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 27 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $302.2 million, according to Thomson First Call.

"The jewelry business is continuing to show strength and staying power and the profusion of vibrant colors among both our costume jewelry and accessory selections is being well received by customers purchasing new items to keep their wardrobes looking fresh and up to the minute," Claire's said.

Claire's expects to earn 30 cents to 33 cents a share on sales of $317 million to $323 million in the second quarter. Analysts were forecasting 35 cents a share on sales of $325.5 million. It sees full-year net of $1.54 to $1.65 a share on sales of $1.34 billion to $1.37 billion. Analysts wanted $1.61 a share on sales of $1.37 billion.

The company expects same-store sales to rise by between 2% and 4% in both the second quarter and full year.

The stock closed at $22.98 Wednesday.