The Company now expects sales for the fourth quarter ending February 1, 2014 to be between $93.0 million and $95.0 million, including a mid to low single digit decrease in comparable sales.
This compares to previous guidance provided on December 5, 2013 of sales between $90.0 million and $95.0 million, including a decrease of 8% to 3% in comparable sales. Earnings per diluted share for the quarter are expected to be in the range of $0.27 to $0.29 for the fourth quarter ending February 1, 2014, at the high end of the Company's previous guidance of $0.25 to $0.29.
Neill P. Davis, francesca's Chief Executive Officer stated, "After a lackluster start to the holiday selling season beginning the week of Thanksgiving, we ended the season stronger. Our customers responded well to our offerings, particularly apparel, accessories, and gifts.
"In addition, we remained diligent during the quarter aligning our inventory levels to our year-end objectives. As a result, we expect inventory, on an average boutique basis, to be flat to the comparable prior year period. Overall, we believe that our differentiated business model, combined with our retail growth strategy and execution of our operational initiatives, will continue to drive improvements in long term shareholder value."
About Francesca's Holdings Corporation
francesca's is a growing specialty retailer with retail locations designed and merchandised to feel like independently owned, upscale boutiques providing customers a fun and differentiated shopping experience. The merchandise assortment is a diverse and balanced mix of apparel, jewelry, accessories and gifts. Today francesca's operates 447 boutiques in 45 states and also serves its customers through its website.
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