NEW YORK — Hot Topic Inc. increased fourth-quarter earnings the old-fashioned way — by growing sales and comps.

For the three months ended Feb. 1, the City of Industry, Calif.-based specialty chain said net income ascended by nearly a third, or 32.8 percent, to $16.6 million, or 51 cents a diluted share. That compares with profits of $12.5 million, or 38 cents, in the prior-year quarter. Earnings per share overran the Wall Street forecast by 2 cents.

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