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Stein Mart key revenue measure up 2.4 pct in Sept.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Discount retailer Stein Mart Inc. said on Thursday said that a key sales figure rose 2.4 percent in September, hurt in part by stores closing in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.

Analysts watch revenue at stores open at least a year because it removes the ups-and-downs of stores that opened or closed during the year.

Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana in late August, but hurt sales early in September because some stores were temporarily closed.

The strongest categories for the month were linens and ladies' career sportswear. Weaker categories were ladies' accessories, men's sportswear and ladies' boutique items.

Total sales for the month ending Sept. 29 were $102.7 million, up 3.9 percent from the same period last year.

Stein Mart operated 262 stores at the end of September, one more than it had a year earlier.

Its shares rose 5 cents to $8.65 in morning trading. They hit a 52-week high of $9.34 two days ago.

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