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Chico's profits but stock falls


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  • | 4:14 p.m. May 18, 2011
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
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FORT MYERS — Despite earning $45.9 million in quarterly profits — up 30% over the year — Chico's FAS Inc. (symbol: CHS) failed to impress investors with its results. Its stock fell roughly 8% in early trading Wednesday following the release of its financial results, to about $14.

The Fort Myers-based clothing retailer's net sales grew 11.5% over the year, to $537.2 million in the first quarter of 2011, according to the company. Its operating income was up 32%, to $72.8 million.

But investors had been expecting even stronger sales. According to Reuters, consensus estimates for Chico's sales were $544.4 million.

Regardless of the short-term impact on its stock price, Chico's is moving forward with its plans to buy back millions of its own shares over the next several months. In the first quarter, Chico's bought back 2.6 million shares of its stock for $36.3 million; according to a statement, the firm will spend another $145.4 million on future share purchases. Chico's ended the quarter with $123 million in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet.

Kent Kleeberger, Chico's newest chief operating officer, was profiled in a recent issue of the Gulf Coast Business Review. Click here to read "Chico's Turnaround."

 

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