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J. Crew Profit Beats Estimates; Shares Leap

J. Crew Group reported quarterly net profit that topped Wall Street estimates, helped by a 21 percent rise in revenue, and it raised its outlook for the fiscal year.

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The company's shares rose 10.24 percent in after-hours trade, after closing regular market hours at $40.30 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Net income in the third quarter increased to $26.8 million, or 42 cents per share, from $26.0 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier. In the year-ago quarter, the company's tax rate was significantly lower.

Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 36 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales rose to $332.7 million, the company said, well ahead of a Wall Street consensus view of $312.7 million.

Same-store sales, a key gauge of retail performance that measures sales at established stores, rose 8 percent in the quarter, while sales through the company's catalog and Web site rose by 36 percent, the company said.

The effective tax rate in the quarter was 39.8 percent compared with 7.1 percent a year earlier.

Looking ahead, J. Crew expects earnings per share for the fiscal year of between $1.50 and $1.52, up from its earlier outlook of a range between $1.42 and $1.46.

Wall Street, on average, has been expecting fiscal 2007 earnings of $1.46, according to Reuters Estimates.

Same-store sales are expected to rise in the mid-single digit range, the company said.