Payless Earnings More Than Double

The company cites positive reaction to its new women's line.
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Payless ShoeSource

(PSS)

said third-quarter earnings rose 122%, topping analysts' estimates, due in part to favorable customer response to the company's new women's line.

The company earned $29.6 million, or $1.30 a share, compared with $13.3 million, or 59 cents a share, in the year ago period. Analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.10 a share.

Sales were $713 million, compared with $697.1 million a year ago. Same-store sales increased 0.7%, Payless said.

Looking ahead, the company expects fourth-quarter EPS to range from 28 cents to 48 cents. Analysts expect the company to earn 47 cents a share. Payless earned 41 cents a share in the fourth quarter last year.

The company expects total 2002 earnings to be $4.70 to $4.90 a share, in line with analysts' expectation of $4.65 a share. The company earned $3.91 a share in 2001.

Shares of Topeka, Kan.-based Payless closed at $53.55 Tuesday on the

New York Stock Exchange

.