J. Jill Surprises to the Upside

The fashion retailer posts an 18-cent profit beat.
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J. Jill

(JILL) - Get Report

posted a stronger-than-expected second quarter as consumers snapped up its new clothing lines.

The Quincy, Mass., fashion retailer earned $3.9 million, or 19 cents a share, down from $6.5 million, or 32 cents a share a year ago, as revenue fell to $117 million from $121 million a year earlier. But the numbers were much stronger than Wall Street had expected. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate called for a penny-a-share profit on sales of $116 million.

"Although the second quarter of 2005 was disappointing when compared to the second quarter of 2004, it turned out to be much stronger than we originally anticipated," said CEO Gordon Cooke. "This was attributable to slightly improved top-line results, particularly in our retail segment, combined with higher than anticipated gross margins and lower selling, general and administrative expenses."

J. Jill shares rose 3 cents to $14.15 before being halted in postclose action.