(By Balachander) Ann Inc. (NYSE:ANN) shares jumped 15.21 percent in premarket trading on Friday after the retailer of women apparel posted second-quarter results that beat market expectations on strong margins and it raised its forecast for 2012.
Ann earned $30.73 million or $0.63 per share for the three months ended July 28, up from $24.79 million or $0.47 per share in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street analysts, on average, expected Ann to earn 51 cents a share.
Sales increased 6.6 percent to $560.4 million, beating consensus estimate of a rise of 4.90 percent. Comparable sales grew 5.0 percent.
Gross margin expanded to 55.9 percent from 55.0 percent.
Looking ahead, Ann sees net sales of $600 million for the third quarter and $2.385 billion for the full year, up from prior view of $2.375 billion. Analysts expect sales of $605.7 million for the current quarter and $2.37 billion for the year.
The company expects gross margin to approach 58.0 percent for the third quarter and continues to expects gross margin of 55.0 percent for 2012.
ANN shares closed Thursday's regular trading at $28.14. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $19.00 and $29.81.