AnnTaylor Third-Quarter Profit Rises; Cuts Forecast

Women's clothing retailer AnnTaylor Storesreported higher quarterly profit Friday, helped by leaner inventories and better merchandise assortments, but cut its full-year earnings outlook.

Gene J. Puskar

AnnTaylor , which has been working to make clothes at its LOFT stores more colorful, said net income for the third quarter ended Nov. 3 was $40.8 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with $39.3 million, or 54 cents per share, a year ago.

Quarterly net sales rose to $600.9 million from $566.3 million a year ago as a greater number of stores and growth of the company's factory outlet and Internet businesses offset a 0.4 percent decline in same-store sales.

Citing "significant softness in October and ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty," AnnTaylor cut its full-year earnings forecast to a range of $2.05 to $2.15 per share from a prior forecast of $2.15 to $2.25.