Mar 8, 2009
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Hot Topic's Feb same-store sales beat Street; shares up

Mar 8, 2009

* Feb same-store sales rise 10.8 pct

* Feb comps beats Street by 6 pct

* Sales at namesake, Torrid segments rise

* Shares up 9 pct

March 4 (Reuters) - Teen-clothing retailer Hot Topic Inc (HOTT.O) reported a February comparable-store sales rise of 10.8 percent that handsomely beat the Wall Street estimate of a 4.8 percent increase, sending its shares up as much as 9 percent.

Hot Topic Inc

Hot Topic, which sells rock n' roll-inspired apparel and accessories as well as music, said same-store sales at its namesake segment rose about 12.4 percent, while that at its Torrid plus-size chain for young women rose 4.8 percent.

Hot Topic, whose rivals include Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF.N), American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEO.N) and Wet Seal (WTSLA.O), has been upgrading stores and merchandise in an attempt to reverse a lingering slump.

The mall and web-based retailer, which operates 679 Hot Topic stores and 159 Torrid stores, said on a pre-recorded call all geographic regions saw positive same-store sales in February.

All of the company's core merchandise categories at its Hot Topic segment performed well in the quarter.

While sales at HotTopic.com were up 68 percent over last year, Torrid.com sales were up 37 percent.

Shares of California-based Hot Topic were up 77 cents at $9.24 in trading after the bell. They had closed at $8.47 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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