Nov 5, 2009
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Children's Place October comp sales beat estimates

Nov 5, 2009

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Children's Place Retail Stores Inc (PLCE.O) posted a smaller-than-expected dip in October same store sales and topped Wall Street estimates on third-quarter sales, sending its shares up 8 percent in pre-market trade.

Children's Place "Back to School '09" - Photo: www.childrensplace.com

During the quarter as well as in October, online sales offset weakness in the company's U.S. and Canadian stores.

Apparel retailers are increasingly focusing on online sales, as more and more customers surf the web to make purchases, especially during the holiday season.

For the month of October, the company, which competes with Gymboree Corp (GYMB.O) and Gap Inc's (GPS.N) Baby Gap line among others, saw comparable sales fall 2 percent.

Analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data, were looking at a fall of 3.1 percent.

Sales for the third quarter came in at $463.2 mln, while market expectations were for $448.2 million. Online sales grew 44 percent, while comparable store sales declined 4 percent in the U.S. and 5 percent in Canada

For the third quarter, the company expects earnings from continuing operations in the range of $1.35 a share to $1.39 a share.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a gain of 97 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the Secaucus, New Jersey-based company, which is due to report Q3 results on Nov 19, were up at $35 in Thursday 5 November trading before the bell.

The had closed at $32.40 Wednesday 4 November on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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