Oct 22, 2008
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Carter's raises full-year growth outlook, shares rise

Oct 22, 2008

* Raises full-year sales growth outlook

* Raises lower end of full-year earnings forecast

* Shares rise as much as 16 percent

* Sees FY inventories up 5 percent

(Recasts, adds outlook, conference call details)

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Children's clothing retailer Carter's Inc raised its full-year growth outlook and said earnings may not fall as much as expected, citing continuing strong birth rates, sending its shares up as much as 16 percent.


A day after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings, Chief Executive Mike Casey said in a conference call with analysts "trends in our business are good heading into the final weeks of the year."

"We're very fortunate to be competing in the young children's apparel space. It is a less discretionary (and) very affordable purchase."

Atlanta-based Carter's now expects a mid-single-digit growth in sales in the year ending December 31, against its earlier expectations of growing in the low-single-digit range.

The company, which competes with Children's Place Retail Stores Inc and Gymboree Corp now expects full-year earnings per share to be flat to three percent lower, better than its prior view of flat to a fall of five percent or more.

Analysts on average expect the company to earn $1.22 a share, before special items, on revenue of $1.45 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company, which expects to spend $50 million on capital expenditure during the year, plans to have 400 shops at Kohl's Corp and 15 shops at Macy's Inc before the start of the Holiday season.

Shares of the company were trading up $2.43 dollars at $18.89, in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore)

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