NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gymboree ( GYMB) is spiking following its better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report on Thursday and its announcement that it plans to expand Crazy 8 brand. Shares of Gymboree are surging 10.3% to $51.05 in morning trading.
During the quarter, Gymboree
store pictured above earned $33.2 million, or $1.11 a share, compared with $29.5 million, or $1 in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for earnings of $1.10 a share. Gymboree sales rose 4% to $299.6 million. Looking ahead, Gymboree predicts first-quarter earnings in the range of 90 to 94 cents a share, while Wall Street expects 90 cents a share. The company said during its conference call that it plans to open 75 to 100 new Crazy 8 stores this year. Gymboree previously forecast rolling out 50 new stores. Crazy 8 is Gymboree's lower-priced children's brand, with merchandise about 25% to 30% cheaper than in namesake stores. Gymboree is also eying international expansion for its brands, with plans to open 50 to 60 new stores in Canada, entering into Australia and growing its brand into the Middle East. Rival Children's Place ( PLCE)also said in its fourth-quarter earnings report that it is stepping up its plans for growth.
Children's Place posted a 12% drop in profit to $34.1 million, or $1.23 a share, from $38.8 million, or $1.31, in the year prior. Excluding items, Children's Place actually earned $1.03 a share, in-line with Wall Street forecast. Its sales grew 5% to $462.8 million. Children's Place said it remains uncertain about the economic environment, and foresees first-quarter earnings in the range of 85 cents to 90 cents a share, along with full-year earnings between $2.90 and $3.10 a share. Wall Street is looking for 87 cents and $3 a share, respectively. -- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.