UPDATE 1-Express sales tops estimates as trendy products draw customers
* Second-quarter earnings/share $0.20 vs est $0.20
* Revenue rises 7 percent to $486.2 mln vs est $485 mln
* Sees third-quarter earnings/share $0.21-$0.26 vs est $0.25
* Raises FY profit forecast to $1.52-$1.60 vs est $1.59
* Shares rise 10 pct premarket
(Adds CEO comment, forecast, background, share movement)
Aug 28 (Reuters) - Apparel and accessories retailer Express Inc's sales topped analysts' estimates for the third quarter in a row as its trendy merchandise attracted more shoppers, sending its shares up 10 percent in premarket trading.
Many retailers have reported steep declines in same-store sales as higher payroll taxes and gasoline prices pressure U.S. consumer discretionary spending.
Express, however, bucked the trend, joining retailers such as Ann Inc and Urban Outfitters Inc in posting positive comparable store sales in the latest quarter.
"Our customers are responding enthusiastically to our assortments, which are trend-right, differentiated and well-edited," Chief Executive Michael Weiss said in a statement.
The company's merchandise, including Portofino shirts, has clicked with shoppers, in contrast to that of retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch Co, whose preppy, logo-centric clothes have fallen out of favor.
The company posted a 6 percent increase in comparable store sales, including e-commerce sales, for the second quarter.
Express has bounced back after a promotional strategy offering discounts on second purchases backfired last year, saddling the company with a large inventory. The misstep forced the retailer to return to offering straight discounts.
The company forecast third-quarter profit of 21-26 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 25 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Express also raised its full-year profit forecast for the second time this year. It expects $1.52-$1.60 per share, up from its prior forecast of $1.48-$1.58. Analysts had expected $1.59 per share.
Net income for the quarter ended Aug. 3 rose to $16.9 million, or 20 cents per share, from $15.8 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected 20 cents per share.
Revenue rose 7 percent to $486.2 million, above analysts' estimates of $485 million. E-commerce sales rose 27 percent to $59.9 million.
Express' shares, which have risen 31 percent this year, were trading at $21.75. They closed at $19.80 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas and Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)