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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Chico's FAS (CHS) - Get Free Report were sliding, down 1.32% to $16.50 on heavy volume in afternoon trading Wednesday, after the specialty apparel retailer reported its first quarter financial results.

Chico earned 28 cents per share in the first quarter, while net sales rose 1.7% year over year to $693.34 million.

The company's adjusted earnings per share matched analysts' expectations, but revenue missed estimates.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of 28 cents per share on sales of $712.93 million for the quarter.

In the same quarter of last year, the company earned 26 cents per share on revenue of $681.61 million.

Comparable sales, or sales from stores open for at least a year, fell 0.1% in the quarter and follows a 2.6% decrease in the year-ago quarter.

Gross margin rose 90 basis points from last year to 57.1%, reflecting a decrease in promotional activity. This was partially offset by the impact of product delays due to port issues in 2015 and the return to accrued incentive compensation at a target level.

About 5.24 million shares of Chico's have exchanged hands as of 2:29 p.m. ET today, compared to its average trading volume of about 1.67 million shares a day.

Fort Myers, Fla.-based Chico's is a specialty retailer of private branded, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates, complementary accessories, and other non-clothing gift items under the Chico's, White House / Black Market and Soma Intimates brand names.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CHICOS FAS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CHICOS FAS INC (CHS) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CHS Ratings Report

CHS data by YCharts

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