Shares of

Michaels Stores

(MIK) - Get Report

jumped nearly 15% Thursday after the company posted increased sales and earnings, but guided first-quarter numbers to the lower end of estimates.

The arts and crafts retailer earned $75.4 million, or $1.07 a share, on sales of $972 million in its quarter ended Feb. 1. Michaels' revenue increased 7% over the same period a year ago, while its earnings per share surged 16%.

In recent trading, Michael's was up $3.01, or 14.8%, to $23.30.

Wall Street was expecting the Irving, Texas-based company to earn $1.01 a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

The retail chain warned that its first-quarter earnings may come in lower than analysts' expectations. Michaels forecast that its first-quarter earnings would fall between 26 and 30 cents a share. For fiscal 2003, the company expects earnings to come in between $2.32 to $2.48 a share.

For the year, Michaels earned $140.3 million, or $1.99 a share, on $2.86 billion in sales. In fiscal 2001, the company earned $89 million, or $1.33 per share, on sales of $2.53 billion. An accounting change related to cooperative advertising agreements with vendors depressed fiscal 2002 earnings by $7.4 million, or 12 cents a share.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 30 cents a share in the first quarter and $2.40 for the year.

Michaels also warned that its comparable-store sales growth in 2003 would come in lower than its initial expectations. The company now expects to post growth in same-store sales, which compares outlets open for more than one year, between 2% to 4%. Previously, the company had projected that its same-store sales would grow between 4% to 6%.