Ann Inc. stock jumped 4.2 percent to $38.92 after the retailer posted a first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ expectations.
Ann’s earnings of $15.4 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, in the quarter ended May 3, excluding an after-tax restructuring charge, was 2 cents better than analysts’ consensus estimate of 31 cents. The stock rose $1.57 in the first 50 minutes of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Including the $10.2 million, or 22 cents a diluted share after-tax restructuring charge, Ann’s net in the quarter came to 11 cents a diluted share, or $5.2 million, compared with net income of $20.9 million, or 44 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago quarter when there was no restructuring charge.
The weak selling environment pulled total company comparable sales down 1.8 percent last quarter, versus a decrease of 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
“Despite the headwinds of severe winter weather, soft traffic across the industry and the resulting higher than anticipated promotional environment, we delivered first quarter results that met our bottom-line expectations. Importantly, traffic and sales accelerated with the return of more seasonable weather, driving positive comparable sales for April and into May,” said Kay Krill, president and chief executive officer. “Looking ahead, we continue to make meaningful progress on our strategic initiatives, and we are planning for a stronger year-over-year performance in each quarter for the balance of the year. We remain highly focused on our objective to deliver our third consecutive year of record earnings per share in 2014.”