Shares of

Dress Barn

( DBRN) climbed Wednesday after the women's apparel retailer posted a 15% rise in third-quarter earnings and boosted its full-year forecast.

Shares were up $1.11, or 5.1%, to $22.83 in recent trading.

The Suffern, N.Y.-based company earned $23.1 million, or 33 cents a share, in the first quarter, up from $20 million, or 29 cents a share, a year ago. Sales increased 6% to $347.9 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial projected earnings of 31 cents a share on $350 million in revenue.

Dress Barn's same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, rose 2%.

"In general, the business is strong, reinforcing our belief that our spring/summer offerings are fashion-right," David Jaffe, president and CEO, said in a news release. "Dressbarn and Maurices showed sales strength across a variety of merchandise categories during the period, with dress selling particularly strong and enjoying one of the most successful seasons to date."

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Jaffe also said the company's Maurices chain will exit the men's business and introduce female plus-sizes by mid-June.

"This is a key brand builder allowing Maurices to focus on a similar and related group of customers," he said.

The company raised its full-year guidance to a range of $1.38 to $1.40 a share, up from its previous forecast of $1.30 to $1.35 a share. Wall Street is expecting earnings of $1.33 a share.

Separately, Dress Barn reported a 10% jump in May same-store sales, with the Dressbarn chain recording a 7% increase in comps and Maurices posting an 18% rise. Total sales for May increased 14% to $134.9 million.

Dress Barn's report came a day after fellow women's apparel retailer

Coldwater Creek


also reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, with a 31% jump in sales. Shares of Coldwater were surging $3.18, or 15%, to $24.08.