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Citi Trends comparable store sales decline in Q3
Nov '08
Citi Trends Inc reported results for the third quarter ended November 1, 2008. Third quarter ended November 1, 2008Total sales in the third quarter ended November 1, 2008 increased 5.4% to $104.9 million compared with $99.5 million in the third quarter ended November 3, 2007. Comparable store sales decreased 4.2% in the third quarter.

The net loss in this year's third quarter was $687,000 compared with a net loss of $513,000 in last year's third quarter. Loss per diluted share was $0.05 in the third quarter of 2008 compared with a loss of $0.04 in 2007's third quarter.

The decline in comparable store sales in this year's third quarter pressured the Company's results in relation to the third quarter of 2007. However, the Company's efforts to improve its management of inventory levels led to fewer markdowns than in last year's third quarter which, together with an increased focus on controlling inventory shrinkage, led to a higher gross margin, substantially offsetting the effect of the comparable store sales decrease.

The Company opened 7 stores, relocated or expanded 3 others, and closed 1 store in the third quarter of 2008, reaching a total store count of 341 at the end of the quarter. Since quarter-end, the Company has opened an additional 14 stores.

First three quarters ended November 1, 2008Total sales in the first three quarters of fiscal 2008 increased 12.8% to $341.6 million compared with $302.9 million in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2007. Comparable store sales increased 0.8% in the first three quarters of this year. Net income was $7.3 million compared with $5.8 million last year. Earnings per diluted share in the first three quarters of 2008 was $0.51 compared with $0.41 during the same period of 2007, which included $0.04 of expenses related to a 2007 secondary stock offering.

The Company's estimate of fiscal 2008 earnings is a range of $0.95 to $1.05 per diluted share. This guidance is based upon an anticipated comparable store sales decrease of 3% to 6% in the fourth quarter. For the year, the Company expects to increase selling square footage by approximately 15%. The effective tax rate for 2008 is estimated to approximate 33%.

Citi Trends Inc

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