NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Express (EXPR - Get Report) shares are up 5.55% to $15.78 in early market trading on Wednesday following the release of the apparel retailer's fourth quarter earnings results before the opening bell today.

The company beat analysts fourth quarter earnings and sales estimates while also issuing a fiscal 2015 earnings guidance range that was at the high end of analysts' forecasts.

For the just concluded quarter the company reported earnings of 49 cents per share, topping its own 43 cent to 46 cent per share guidance, and beating analysts' 46 cent per share expectations for the period.

Express generated $725.8 million in revenue during the period, topping Wall Street's $714.2 million expectations.

The company expects full year earnings for the coming year to be in the 93 cent to $1.07 per share range, the middle of that range tops analysts' consensus 99 cent per share target, and ahead of the 81 cents per share it earned this year.

"I'm particularly pleased that as we reduced all-store promotional activity in January versus the prior year, we drove merchandise margin gains and positioned ourselves to begin 2015 with a better composition of spring inventory than at this time last year," said CEO David Kornberg.

TheStreet Ratings team rates EXPRESS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EXPRESS INC (EXPR) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

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