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Pacific Sunwear Earnings Jump

It guides in line.
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Teen-clothing retailer

Pacific Sunwear


reported a 20% jump in third-quarter earnings Thursday. The results met Wall Street's expectations and should build confidence heading into the holidays.

The chain said its profits for the quarter totaled $40.5 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $33.7 million, or 44 cents a share, logged in the same quarter last year. Its sales rose 13.6% to $377.5 million on a same-store sales gain of 4.6% for the period.

"Our 20% increase in net income reflects both an improving comp-store sales trend and an increase in gross margin," the company said. "Although we must be cautious about the overall retail environment, I believe we are positioned to achieve strong results for the balance of the year."

Looking forward, the retailer said it expects to earn 62 cents to 63 cents a share in its fourth quarter, matching Wall Street's expectations for the all-important holiday season.

During the third quarter, Pacific Sunwear repurchased 1,028,100 of its shares at an average price of $23.11.

Its stock closed Thursday up 54 cents, or 2%, to $27.63.