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Urban Outfitters Earnings Surge 45% on Spring Sales

Urban Outfitters Inc.'s first-quarter earnings surged 45 percent, driven by solid sales of spring assortments.

Urban Outfitters Inc.’s first-quarter earnings surged 45 percent, driven by solid sales of spring assortments.

For the three months ended April 30, earnings rose to $29.4 million, or 17 cents a diluted share, from $20.3 million, or 12 cents, in the year-ago period, on sales that climbed 16 percent to $314.5 million from $270 million. Same-store sales for the quarter fell 2 percent.

By division, quarterly comparable-store sales at Anthropologie and Free People increased 2 percent and 8 percent, respectively, and were down 5 percent at Urban Outfitters stores.

“We are encouraged by our customer reaction to our assortments so far this May, and based on these results, remain guardedly optimistic about achieving our modest financial plan in the second quarter,” said Richard A, Hayne, chairman and president, in a statement.

The specialty apparel retailer said its tax rate improved 22.3 percent, or 3 cents a diluted share, from 38.4 percent, due to new office development that qualified for a certain one-time federal tax incentive and the benefits of certain reorganization efforts.

During the quarter the company opened four Urban Outfitters stores and two Anthropologie stores. Management plans on opening at least 38 stores during the year.