Borders Group ( BGP) said second-quarter earnings rose sharply from a year ago and edged out analysts' expectations. The company also raised its full-year earnings estimate, citing cost cuts. The company, which runs the Borders superstores and Waldenbooks bookstores, earned $3.4 million, or 4 cents a share, in the latest quarter compared with the $100,000, or break-even on a per-share basis, last year. In July, the company
upped its expected EPS to 3 cents to 4 cents, up from the 2 cents to 3 cents it had initially predicted. The company cited thorough expense management in successfully combating the quarter's "modest" sales growth. Revenue was up 3.2% to $763.6 million vs. $739.8 million a year ago. Looking ahead, the company expects a third-quarter loss of 2 cents to 3 cents a share, but expects fourth-quarter earnings of $1.41 to $1.45 a share. Borders raised its full-year EPS guidance to $1.45 to $1.49, up from its previous estimate of $1.44 to $1.48. Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial predict Borders to break even in its third quarter, earn $1.40 a share in the fourth quarter and $1.49 for the year. Shares of Borders were unchanged Thursday at $18.30 on the New York Stock Exchange.