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Pretty Quarter at Dress Barn

The women's clothing retailer beats targets and raises guidance.

Dress Barn


posted fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat expectations and boosted its full-year profit target.

The women's clothing retailer said income for the quarter ending Oct. 29 rose to $27.4 million, or 40 cents a share, from $20.4 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had an average estimate for earnings of 37 cents a share.

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Sales climbed 12% to $358.4 million from $318.9 million last year, while same-store sales jumped 7%.

"Our fall assortments have shown excellent initial sell-throughs and contributed favorably to our margins," said President and Chief Executive David Jaffe in a statement. "We believe that the level and composition of our inventory is on-target for the upcoming Holiday season and we expect our trend to continue into the second quarter. This strong start positions us well for the year ahead, and we are increasingly confident in our ability to achieve our financial objectives."

For the year ending next July, Dress Barn expects earnings of $1.30 to $1.35 a share, up from its earlier guidance of $1.25 to $1.30. Analysts, on average, predict earnings of $1.31 a share. The company expects same-store sales to rise 4% for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The company also posted its sales results for November, reporting a 4% rise in same-store sales for the month. Total sales increased 9% to $108.4 million from $99.3 million.

Shares of Dress Barn recently were adding $1.44, or 7%, to $21.94 in after-hours trading.