By  on March 20, 2006

NEW YORK — Action sports retailer Zumiez Inc. delivered solid fourth-quarter earnings results last Wednesday, saying its "flexible merchandising strategy" helped the company drive comparable-store sales.

Earnings in the three months ended Jan. 28 rose 59.3 percent, to $6.8 million, or 47 cents a diluted share, versus $4.3 million, or 32 cents, in the year-ago period. Results in the latest quarter beat analysts' estimates by a penny. Sales in the quarter were $75.4 million, up 42.3 percent from $53 million last year, while same-store sales rose 20.7 percent.

In the year, Zumiez earned $12.9 million, or 94 cents a diluted share, up from $7.3 million, or 56 cents, a year ago. Revenues rose 33.9 percent, to $205.6 million, while same-store sales increased a higher-than-expected 14.2 percent.

"Zumiez has succeeded as a highly differentiated retail concept by bringing the feel of an independent action sports shop to the mall," said Rick Brooks, president and chief executive officer of Zumiez, in a written statement. "Our strong culture, sales-driven approach, unique training programs, and passionate and committed people position us for continued long-term success."

The firm said fiscal year 2006 earnings per share are projected to hit $1.22, ahead of analysts' estimates of $1.19. The company plans to open 42 stores this year, following the 35 stores opened last year.

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