CHICO’S STOCK CLIMBS IN FIRST DAY ON NYSE

NEW YORK — The first day for Chico’s FAS Inc. on the New York Stock Exchange was a good one.
Pumped up by a 23.7 percent increase in March same-store sales, shares of the Fort Myers, Fla.-based chain picked up $1.93, to close Wednesday at $40.95 on the NYSE. The firm was previously listed on Nasdaq.
Jennifer Black, an analyst with Wells Fargo Van Kasper, said in a research note that the strong comp showing proved the firm “deserves” to trade on the NYSE.
“Amid a month ridden by lingering winter weather and a weak economic environment, Chico’s stood above the crowd to blow away [Wall] Street expectations once again,” trumpeted Black. She also reiterated her “buy” rating on the company and boosted first-quarter earnings estimates to 59 cents a share from 54 cents.
Sales for the five weeks, which rose 53.8 percent, to $36.9 million, were spurred by new television ads that premiered mid-March.
To celebrate the company’s first day under the “CHS” ticker symbol, Marvin Gralnick, president and chief executive officer, rang the NYSE closing bell.
As it turned out, Gralnick closed another dramatic trading day that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average dip below the 10,000 mark, but finish at 10,013.47, down 89.27. The Nasdaq fared better and ended the day at 1,898.95 up 46.92.

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