Ann Taylor, Aeropostale see sales gains

Shares of both companies jump. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers trims guidance, hitting shares.

By Charley Blaine May 21, 2010 1:39PM
Somebody is pulling out their credit cards. At least compared with a year ago.

Ann Taylor (ANN) shares were up 8.4% to $21.93 this afternoon after reporting earnings of 38 cents a share in the fiscal first quarter, up from a loss of 4 cents a year ago. Revenue of $476.2 million was up 11.6% over a year ago.
Business is strong enough that CEO Kay Krill told analysts on today's call that the company "canceled a number of promotions throughout the quarter" at its namesake stores because demand at regular prices was so solid.

The apparel retailer sees second-quarter sales approaching $500 million, up 6.3% from a year ago. It also boosted its full-year revenue guidance $1.95 billion to $1.975 billion from prior guidance of $1.85 billion.

There is a downside to the cheer. In the fiscal first quarter of 2009, sales were $591.7 million. Ann Taylor

Aeropostale (ARO) shares were up 4.4% to $28.50 after climbing as much as 7.2%, the most intraday since May 10.

The teen clothing retailer reported late Thursday fiscal-first-quarter profit (excluding some items) of 48 cents a share, up 55% from a year ago and better than the consensus estimate of 46 cents. But it was up. 

Revenue was up 13.6% from a year to $463.6 million.

The company is forecasting earnings of 45 cents to 48 cents per share in the second quarter. The consensus is 47 cents. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

But there was some bad news: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) plunged 14.1% to $20.25 -- after falling as much as 22%, the most since Jan. 15.

The restaurant operator lowered its forecast for the year, saying revenue will be $880 million to $882 million.

Analysts had expected $883 million in revenue. Earnings will be no more than $1.30 a share, less than the average analyst estimate of $1.33.

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