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Colder-than-usual autumn weather didn't dissuade shoppers in October, as several retailers posted solid sales for the month.


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said October same-store sales rose 3.7%, in line with its lowered expectations. The world's biggest retailer said overall sales in the four-week period ended Nov. 1 were $18.497 billion, up 11.3% from the year-ago period.

Wal-Mart previously had warned that its Halloween candy sales were below plan and said October comparable-store sales growth would be in the 2% to 4% range.

Ann Taylor


, meanwhile, posted a jump in October total store sales, and comparable-store sales increased slightly, leading the women's retailer to raise its third-quarter earnings expectations to above analysts' estimates.

The company said total store sales jumped 11% to $114.7 million. Comparable-store sales increased 0.2%. The company said its Ann Taylor same-store sales decreased 2.2%, but Ann Taylor Loft same-store sales increased 4.5%.

Ann Taylor said that because gross margins were strong, it raised its expected third-quarter results to 53 cents a share, from the previous forecast of 50 cents to 51 cents a share. Analysts expect the company to earn 50 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter and full-year expectations are 32 cents to 33 cents a share and $1.69 to $1.70 a share, respectively. Analysts expect 31 cents for the fourth quarter and $1.64 for the year, on average.


J.C. Penney

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said October comparable store sales were higher than expected and that it expects third-quarter results to beat analysts' forecasts.

Comparable-store sales increased 13.7% to $1.2 million. The Plano, Texas-based company said sales were strong in its fine jewelry, home and children's merchandise categories. Comparable drugstore sales at the company's Eckerd chain increased 3.9% but below the company's expectations. Catalog sales, however, decreased 21.8%.

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Analysts expect the company to earn 23 cents a share in its third quarter. J.C. Penney didn't give specific expectations for earnings.



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cut its expected first-quarter outlook to below analysts' consensus, citing a lower-than-expected October comparable-store sales rise.

October comparable-store sales rose 2% and were affected 1% because of tobacco price increases in the U.S. and Canada, the company said. The Issaquah, Wash.-based company now expects to earn between 30 cents and 32 cents a share, revised down from its original expectation of 32 cents to 33 cents a share. Analysts expect 33 cents a share, on average. Total sales were up 6% to $3.01 billion.


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also enjoyed a substantial October same-store sales increase, and the company reversed its previously lowered third-quarter earnings expectations.

The company said same-store sales shot up 18.3%. Total sales for the four-week period increased 38.4% to $799.7 million.

In September, the Menomonee Falls, Wisc.-based company lowered its expectations to 34 cents to 35 cents a share and below analysts' forecasts at the time. The company now expects to earn 37 cents a share; analysts expect 34 cents a share.

Family Dollar


said October comparable-store sales increased 6.1% and reiterated its expected first-quarter comparable-store sales numbers. The company said total sales rose 16.8% to $340 million.

The discount chain reaffirmed that it expects first-quarter same-store sales to increase 3% to 4%.


Brown Shoe


said October comparable-store sales at both its retail chains rose, and the company increased its third-quarter and full-year earnings expectations.

The company said comparable-store sales at its Naturalizer division jumped 17.5% and total sales were $11.7 million, compared with $11.6 million last year.

Brown's Famous Footwear chain same store sales rose 0.5%, with total sales up 4.6% to $72.2 million, compared with $69 million a year ago. For the third quarter, the company expects to earn $1.10 a share, up from its original expectation of $1 a share. For the year, St. Louis-based Brown expects $2.15 to $2.20 a share, increased from the company's initial $2.10 to $2.15 a share expectations.