FORT MYERS — Chico's FAS, the women's retailer, posted a 29% increase in net income in the fiscal fourth-quarter and says it will buy back $300 million of its own stock.
The Fort Myers-based company, which operates nearly 1,400 stores around the country, reported net income of $32.7 million on net sales of $652 million. Sales at stores opened longer than one year rose 3.7%.
The $300 million share repurchase program cancels a prior $200 million program, which had $67.6 million remaining. The company will purchase its own stock in the open market or privately negotiated transactions, according to a Chico's statement.
In addition, Chico's announced it will pay a 5.5-cent-per-share dividend on April 1 to shareholders of common stock. That amount is a 4.8% increase from the dividend paid in March 2012.
The company's brands include Chico's, White House | Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper. Chico's stock is publicly traded (symbol: CHS; recent price: $17).