By  on March 16, 2007

The specialty retailers posting fourth-quarter results Thursday delivered inconsistent results as two of the three companies were impacted by store closures and other charges.

Pacific Sunwear of California posted lower earnings as the costs of closing D.e.m.o. stores dragged down results. The Children's Place reported lower earnings while in the midst of restating earnings. Aéropostale delivered robust profits on strong sales.

Teen retailer Pacific Sunwear of California reported an 80 percent plummet in fourth-quarter earnings, bruised by costs related to the closing of underperforming D.e.m.o. stores.

For the three months ended Feb. 3, earnings dropped to $9.1 million, or 13 cents a diluted share, from $47 million, or 63 cents, in the year prior. These results include asset impairment and inventory write-down charges of about $16.6 million, or 24 cents a diluted share, related to the closure of 74 D.e.m.o. stores. Sales for the quarter rose 7.8 percent to $458.2 million from $424.9 million. Total same-store sales dropped 4.3 percent.

Full-year earnings dropped to $39.6 million, or 56 cents a diluted share, from $126.2 million, or $1.67, in the year-ago period. Sales grew 4 percent to $1.45 billion from $1.39 billion.

The company expects earnings per share for the first half of fiscal 2007 in the range of 23 cents to 27 cents.

The Children's Place said Thurs­day preliminary fourth-quarter earnings were $46.8 million. The retailer also raised its 2007 guidance.

Following an investigation into stock options, the children's apparel retailer is currently restating earnings, including fiscal 2005 and the first quarter of 2006. The company is not providing per share earnings data or comparative results for the fourth quarter or full-fiscal 2006 since financial results may be adjusted.

Results include a tax benefit, write-offs, costs for a stock option investigation and pretax impairment charge related to the write-down of fixed assets. Excluding these special items, earnings were $53.6 million in the most recent quarter.

Revenues for the quarter ended Jan. 28, rose 20 percent to $645.2 million from $539.7 million, while same-store sales increased 6 percent.

By brand, comps grew 3 percent at Children's Place and 14 percent at Disney stores.For the full-year, earnings were $84.6 million, or $94.3 million excluding other items. Sales jumped 21 percent to $2.02 billion from $1.67 billion.

The company expects fiscal 2007 earnings in the range of $3.63 to $3.73, about 8 cents higher than previous guidance.

Aéropostale reported a 37 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings, to $57.3 million, or $1.08 a diluted share, from $41.8 million, or 76 cents, last year. Results include a $7.4 million, or 8 cents a diluted share, worth of concessions, primarily from South Bay Apparel for the prior purchase of merchandise. For the three-month period ended Feb. 3, sales increased 16.5 percent to $506.8 million from $435.2 million, while same-store sales climbed 2.2 percent.

Full-year earnings surged 27 percent to $106.6 million, or $1.98 cents a diluted share, from $84 million, or $1.50, in last year's period. Sales climbed 17 percent to $1.41 billion from $1.20 billion.

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