Talbots December Same-Store Sales Rose 12.9%

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Talbots

(TLB)

said same-store sales rose 12.9% in December, and total sales increased by 17% for the period.

Sales totaled $219.3 million, up from $186.7 million in the year-ago period. The company attributed the increase to a better-than-expected holiday season.

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The Hingham, Mass., women's apparel retailer said it now expects to beat Wall Street's earnings forecast for the fourth quarter. Talbots anticipates earnings of 46 cents to 48 cents a share for the period, higher than the 24 cents it earned in the year-ago period. Fifteen analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

are calling for the company to post a profit of 43 cents a share.

Shares of Talbots gained $1.06, or 2.2%, to $50.31 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.