AnnTaylor

(ANN)

rose Thursday after the women's clothing chain posted its biggest quarterly sales increase in two years. The company also predicted future earnings will be in line with analysts' estimates.

The retailer late Wednesday reported second-quarter net income of $21.2 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with $18.2 million, or 39 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier.

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Sales rose 14% to $390.2 million from $343.1 million. Comparable-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, climbed 5.3%.

Shares were up 83 cents, or 2.5%, at $33.83.

"Despite our slow start in the first quarter, we managed to achieve record second quarter earnings ... propelled by positive comparable store sales," said chairman J. Patrick Spainhour in a prepared statement.

Looking ahead, AnnTaylor expects third-quarter and fourth-quarter profit in the range of 57 cents to 61 cents per share, and 41 cents to 43 cents a share, respectively. That is within Wall Street earnings estimates of 59 cents a share for the third quarter and 42 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

For the full year, the retailer expects to earn a range of $1.82 to $1.88 a share, compared with analysts' projections of $1.84 per share, according to Thomson First Call.