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Chico’s Net Rises 44.9%

NEW YORK — Chico’s FAS Inc. had another stellar quarter, continuing the company’s tradition of posting double-digit gains on both earnings and sales, as well as exceeding Wall Street’s expectations.<BR><BR>In the second quarter...

NEW YORK — Chico’s FAS Inc. had another stellar quarter, continuing the company’s tradition of posting double-digit gains on both earnings and sales, as well as exceeding Wall Street’s expectations.

In the second quarter ended July 31, the women’s specialty retailer said Thursday after the close of the market that it had earnings of $35.5 million, or 39 cents a share, up 44.9 percent from a profit of $24.5 million, or 28 cents, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues rose 46.9 percent to $254.8 million from $173.4 million last year, while same-store sales surged 14.1 percent.

Analysts had been calling for a profit of 38 cents on revenues of $251 million.

In the first six months of the year, the Ft. Myers, Fla.-based company earned $71.2 million, or 79 cents, up from $47.8 million, or 55 cents, a year ago. Sales in the six months were $511.6 million, up 49.4 percent from $342.4 million in the year-earlier period, with comps up 17 percent.

“We are very pleased with our current August same-store sales results and the strong reaction we are seeing to the introduction of our fall merchandise,” said Scott Edmunds, chief executive officer of Chico’s, in a statement.

Shares of Chico’s closed up 0.6 percent at $43.88 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

— Meredith Derby