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Pet supply retailer



posted better-than-expected first-quarter results Tuesday as comparable-store sales grew 12.1% from a year ago.

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The company, which operates more than 560 stores in the U.S. and Canada, said it earned $22.1 million, or 17 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $1.2 million, or 1 cent a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had been expecting 10 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter grew to $645.8 million from $582.2 million in the year-ago quarter, and comparable-store sales in stores open at least a year grew 12.1%. Services sales were up 38% as the company continues to focus and invest in growing its pet services business.

Going forward, PetsMart said it expects earnings per share of 14 cents to 15 cents in the second quarter, compared to 2 cents in the year-ago period. Analysts are looking for 8 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. For the full year, the company sees earnings of 66 cents to 69 cents, ahead of the consensus estimate of 54 cents.

Shares of PetsMart closed at $16.48 Monday before the earnings release.