From: Reuters
Published May 22, 2008 07:35 AM

AnnTaylor posts lower quarterly profit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Women's clothing retailer AnnTaylor Stores Corp <ANN.N> reported lower quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by restructuring costs.

Net income fell to $25.9 million, or 43 cents per share, in the first quarter that ended on May 3 from $31.5 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding costs from the company's restructuring, the operator of the Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor LOFT chains earned 47 cents per share.

Earlier this month, AnnTaylor said operating earnings for the quarter would range from 45 cents to 47 cents per share. That surprised Wall Street analysts, who on average had expected 36 cents, with estimates of 35 cents to 40 cents.

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The New York-based company said net sales rose 2 percent to $591.7 million, as same-store sales fell 4.3 percent.

The company maintained its full-year forecast, which calls for earnings of $1.80 to $1.90 per share, excluding items.

For the second quarter, it forecast earnings of 42 cents to 47 cents per share, excluding restructuring costs.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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