Cold weather, discounting hurt Ann 1Q profit

Ann 1Q profit drops 27 percent as cold weather dents sales, but analysts expected worse

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ann Inc., which runs the Ann Taylor and Loft stores, said Thursday that its fiscal first-quarter net income fell 27 percent, as cold weather hurt sales of spring and summer clothing and led to more discounts than planned.

Ann cut its revenue outlook for the year, but said May sales were better as the weather warmed. Its revenue outlook for the current quarter, which runs through July, topped Wall Street expectations.

For the quarter ended May 4, the New York-based company earned $20.9 million, or 44 cents per share. That compared with $28.7 million, or 58 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Revenue rose 3 percent, to $574.5 million from $560.4 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 42 cents per share on $570.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key measure of a retailer's health because it excludes sales at new or recently closed stores, fell 0.5 percent. The metric rose 1.9 percent for Ann Taylor and dropped 1.9 percent at Loft. Sales were weaker at both brands' outlet stores.

The company is "on track" for higher profitability and gains in revenue at stores open at least a year in the current quarter, said CEO Kay Krill. For the fiscal second quarter, Ann expects revenue of $640 million, slightly ahead of analysts' prediction of $638.4 million.

For the full year, however, Ann cut its revenue outlook to $2.54 billion from $2.57 billion. Analysts forecast $2.53 billion.

Shares rose 13 cents to $31.20 in morning trading.

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