Children's Place Q1 sales, earnings up

SECAUCUS, N.J. The Children's Place Retail Stores announced first-quarter net income from continuing operations of $28 million, or $1.00 per diluted share for the 13-week period ended May 1, compared with $23.7 million, or 80 cents per share in the first quarter of 2009.

Net sales increased 5% to $422.1 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared with $401.9 in the first quarter of 2009. Comparable-retail sales, which include online sales, declined 0.5% in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 compared with a 1% increase the previous year. During the first quarter of 2010, comparable-store sales declined 1.7% in the United States and 4.6% in Canada, while online sales increased 22%.

"We delivered record financial results and made significant progress on key initiatives in the first quarter of 2010," commented Jane Elfers, president and CEO of The Children's Place. "We strengthened the senior leadership team with the appointment of five talented and experienced executives to head our merchandising, planning, outlet, information technology and human resources operations. In addition, we accelerated our new store openings, sharpened our marketing programs and continued to drive double-digit online growth."

The company updated its guidance for fiscal 2010 and now projects earnings per diluted share from continuing operations will be in the range of $3.05 to $3.15, reflecting its first quarter results, from its initial guidance of $2.90 to $3.10. The company provided initial guidance for the second quarter of 2010, which is forecast to be a loss per share from continuing operations of 38 cents to 33 cents.

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