Another Big Month for Chico's - TheStreet

Chico's FAS

(CHS) - Get Report

continued to confound its doubters Friday, its supercharged shares rising further after it predicted another strong result in December.

The women's specialty retailer said it expects same-store sales to rise 18% to 21% for the month, following a 16.3% jump in November. The company had a 12.6% same-store sales increase in December 2002.

The shares were recently up $1.27, or 3.6%, to $36.23. That's about 32 times this year's Thomson First Call earnings estimate of $1.10 a share and 26 times next year's estimate of $1.37 a share. The shares have roughly doubled this year after going as high as $39.43 in early November, about a month after

reported on growing concerns about whether Chico's could sustain its winning streak.

Chico's remains a favorite of short-sellers, who use a borrowed-share strategy to bet that a stock will fall. About 22% of its public float was short interest as of Dec. 8.