(By Balachander) Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) shares soared 17.40 percent in premarket trading on Wednesday after the apparel retailer posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and its guidance topped consensus.
For the three months ended Oct. 27, EPS fell to 20 cents from 37 cents, topping consensus estimate of 17 cents.
Net sales fell 4 percent to $468.5 million, while Wall Street projected a drop of 3.7 percent. Columbus-Ohio-based Express said comparable sales dropped 5 percent.
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Gross margin contracted to 32.3 percent from 36.2 percent for the third quarter.
For the fourth quarter, Express sees EPS of $0.62 to $0.68 on comparable sales to decrease low single digits, while analysts expect 57 cents.
For the full year, the company now expects EPS in the range of $1.47 to $1.53, versus consensus estimate of $1.40. The company earlier projected 2012 EPS in the range of $1.69 to $1.70. Comparable sales is currently expected to decrease low single digits versus low single digits growth projected earlier.
EXPR shares ended Tuesday's regular trading at $12.99. Over the past year, shares have been trading between $10.47 and $26.27.