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Talbots updates fourth quarter outlook
Feb '10
The Talbots, Inc. announced that it expects stronger-than-anticipated operating results for the fiscal fourth quarter ending January 30, 2010, as discussed below.

Based on preliminary results, the Company expects total sales from continuing operations for fourth quarter 2009 to decline approximately 4%, better than its previously announced range of down 6% to 8%, driven by positive full price selling in the quarter. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter are expected to decline approximately 7%. Talbots direct marketing sales are expected to increase approximately 11% compared to last year's fourth quarter, reflecting strong customer demand, better fulfillment and lower return rates.

Fourth quarter cost of sales, buying and occupancy is expected to improve significantly compared to last year and a range in-line with the Company's previously announced outlook of an approximate 2,000 basis point improvement, driven by strong merchandise gross margins.

Selling, general and administrative expenses in the fourth quarter are expected to be in the range of approximately $101 million to $103 million, compared to last year's $141 million and better than the Company's previous expectation of $105 million to $108 million. This outlook does not include restructuring or impairment charges or merger related costs.

Talbots is currently scheduled to report fourth quarter and fiscal year 2009 results on April 13, 2010.

The above fourth quarter outlook is based on the Company's preliminary estimates, is subject to audit and to the accompanying forward looking statement, and is not a guarantee of future performance.

The Talbots, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer and direct marketer of women's apparel, shoes and accessories. At the end of fourth quarter 2009, the Company operated 580 Talbots brand stores in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

Talbots Inc

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