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Per-share earnings at

Michaels Stores

(MIK) - Get Free Report

rose 18% in the third quarter, thanks in part to a reduction in the company's tax rate.

In its quarter ended Nov. 1, the arts and crafts retailer earned $38.21 billion, or 54 cents a share, on $755.25 million in sales. In the year-ago period, Michaels earned $32.35 million, or 46 cents a share, on sales of $704.61 million.

The company's effective tax rate in the quarter declined from about 41% to about 34.7%. Using the lower rate rather than the higher one added about 5 cents a share to the retailer's earnings in the quarter, the company said.

Without the tax rate change, the company would have met rather than beat Wall Street's earnings expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting Irving, Texas-based Michaels to earn 48 cents a share on revenue of $751.92 million.

For the fourth quarter, Michaels projected earnings of $1.28 to $1.32 a share. The midpoint of that range -- $1.30 a share -- is below Wall Street's estimates. Analysts have forecast that Michaels will earn $1.31 a share on $1.08 billion in sales.

Michaels' shares closed regular trading down 16 cents, or 0.3%, to $47.75 on Tuesday. In after-hours trading, the company's stock was down 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $47.70.