Zale Regains Its Luster

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Zale ( ZLC) is spiking as investors breathe a sigh of relief following a surge in holiday sales.

Shares of the jeweler are spiking 12.7% to $4.79 on Wednesday, after the company announced that its fourth-quarter profit quadrupled. Nonetheless, earnings still fell short of estimates.

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During the three-month period, Zale earned $27.2 million, or 73 cents a share, compared with $6.7 million, or 21 cents, in the year prior. Analysts were calling for a profit of $1.27 a share.

Revenue grew nearly 8% to $626.4 million, while same-store sales jumped 7.9%. Wall Street expected sales of $624.15 million.

Despite lower-than-expected profit, Wednesday's report is a stark contrast from Zale's holiday period last year, when it posted an 11.3% plunge in same-store sales. At the time, Zale faced a liquidity crisis and was forced to cancel orders ahead of the holiday season.

--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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