Urban Outfitters

(URBN) - Get Report

posted a 51% jump in second-quarter earnings on strong same-store sales, easily beating the analyst consensus.

The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split and said its chief financial officer, Steve Feldman, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

The Philadelphia-based clothing and consumer products company, which in addition to its namesake stores also operates the Free People and Anthropologie lines, earned $9.5 million, or 47 cents a share, in the quarter ended July 31. Analysts were expecting 42 cents a share. This compares with last year's earnings of $6.3 million, or 32 cents a share.

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Total sales were up 22% to $122.9 million. The company said 20% more stores were in operation than last year, and that total company comparable-store sales rose 11% in the period. The company said gross profit margin increased 175 basis points as well, due in part to decreased markdowns.

"We had an outstanding second quarter, delivering double-digit comp store sales gains, improving margins, and leveraging both occupancy and SG&A expenses," said Richard A. Hayne, president of Urban.

The company also said August sales have exceeded plans so far, and that it is optimistic about the fall selling season. Management plans to open 13 to 15 new stores during the rest of fiscal 2004.

The additional shares from the stock split will be distributed on or about Sept. 19 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 5. After the split, the company will have about 39.4 million shares outstanding.

Shares of Urban were down about 50 cents, or 1.1%, at $46 in premarket trading, according to Instinet.