NEW YORK — Shares of Guess Inc. hit their highest level in almost three years Wednesday, a day after the company reported September comparable-store sales jumped 13.5 percent and net retail sales gained 21.5 percent to $32.2 million for the month.

After advancing as far as $9.95 in midday trading — the highest mark the stock has achieved since it spiked to $10.12 on Oct. 10, 2000 — Guess’ shares finished at $9.05, up 23 cents, or 2.6 percent above Tuesday’s close on the New York Stock Exchange.

As reported, the performance last month left the Los Angeles-based jeans and casual apparel maker with a 13.2 percent comp increase for the third quarter, while total sales shot up more than a fifth, or 20.5 percent, to $114.2 million.

“We were pleased with our performance in September,” chief operating officer Carlos Alberini said in a phone interview. “We have been having successful results in sales in our own stores with our products, which has driven results in our business both domestically and in Canada across the different merchandise categories.”

September same-store results were also kind to Dress Barn Inc., which comped up 1 percent after posting a 1 percent decline last month and a 2 percent dip a year ago. The Suffern, N.Y.-based specialty retailer said total sales for the five weeks ended Sept. 27 grew 4 percent to $74.6 million from $72 million last year.

Deb Shops Inc., however, saw its comps continue to swoon. The Philadelphia-based junior apparel chain reported September same-store sales plunged 10.6 percent. That came on top of a 15.1 percent drop last month and a 5.3 percent decline a year ago.

In the fine jewelry segment, Friedman’s Inc. finished the year strongly with a 3.4 percent increase in fourth-quarter comps. Full-year same-store sales improved 4.4 percent.

In a separate development, the Savannah, Ga.-based jewelry retail chain, already one of 14 defendants in a lawsuit brought by Capital Factors, has been informed that it is also the subject of a fraud investigation being conducted for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York into the same matter.

As reported, Friedman’s and Whitehall Jewellers are among the defendants in a $30 million lawsuit filed by Capital in a Manhattan federal district court. Capital provided financing to defendant Cosmopolitan Gem Corp., and the Capital’s lawsuit alleges Cosmopolitan defrauded Capital into advancing funds, and the other defendants “aided and abetted or participated in the alleged fraud.” Both Friedman’s and Whitehall said they intend to defend the lawsuit vigorously.NEW YORK — Shares of Guess Inc. hit their highest level in almost three years Wednesday, a day after the company reported September comparable-store sales jumped 13.5 percent and net retail sales gained 21.5 percent to $32.2 million for the month.

After advancing as far as $9.95 in midday trading — the highest mark the stock has achieved since it spiked to $10.12 on Oct. 10, 2000 — Guess’ shares finished at $9.05, up 23 cents, or 2.6 percent above Tuesday’s close on the New York Stock Exchange.

As reported, the performance last month left the Los Angeles-based jeans and casual apparel maker with a 13.2 percent comp increase for the third quarter, while total sales shot up more than a fifth, or 20.5 percent, to $114.2 million.

“We were pleased with our performance in September,” chief operating officer Carlos Alberini said in a phone interview. “We have been having successful results in sales in our own stores with our products, which has driven results in our business both domestically and in Canada across the different merchandise categories.”

September same-store results were also kind to Dress Barn Inc., which comped up 1 percent after posting a 1 percent decline last month and a 2 percent dip a year ago. The Suffern, N.Y.-based specialty retailer said total sales for the five weeks ended Sept. 27 grew 4 percent to $74.6 million from $72 million last year.

Deb Shops Inc., however, saw its comps continue to swoon. The Philadelphia-based junior apparel chain reported September same-store sales plunged 10.6 percent. That came on top of a 15.1 percent drop last month and a 5.3 percent decline a year ago.

In the fine jewelry segment, Friedman’s Inc. finished the year strongly with a 3.4 percent increase in fourth-quarter comps. Full-year same-store sales improved 4.4 percent.

In a separate development, the Savannah, Ga.-based jewelry retail chain, already one of 14 defendants in a lawsuit brought by Capital Factors, has been informed that it is also the subject of a fraud investigation being conducted for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York into the same matter.

As reported, Friedman’s and Whitehall Jewellers are among the defendants in a $30 million lawsuit filed by Capital in a Manhattan federal district court. Capital provided financing to defendant Cosmopolitan Gem Corp., and the Capital’s lawsuit alleges Cosmopolitan defrauded Capital into advancing funds, and the other defendants “aided and abetted or participated in the alleged fraud.” Both Friedman’s and Whitehall said they intend to defend the lawsuit vigorously.

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