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Ann Taylor reports strong Q2 results, boosts year view

Aug '06
Women's specialty retailer Ann Taylor Stores Corporation reported record financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2006.

Kay Krill, President & CEO of Ann Taylor, stated, "We are delighted with the record performance we achieved during the second quarter. We built on our positive momentum at both Ann Taylor and LOFT, driving increased full-price sales and higher gross margin to deliver a fivefold increase in earnings per share for the quarter. This marked the second consecutive quarter of reporting the highest earnings in the Company's history. Based on the strong results year to date, we are increasing our earnings guidance for the 2006 fiscal year to $2.05-$2.10 per diluted share."

For the second quarter ended July 29, 2006, net income reached $43.2 million, or $0.59 per share on a diluted basis (on an average of 72.8 million shares outstanding). This compares to net income of $7.1 million, or $0.10 per share on a diluted basis (on an average of 72.5 million shares outstanding) in the second quarter of fiscal 2005, which included a charge of $9.5 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, related to the relocation of the company's corporate offices.

Net income for second quarter 2006 was reduced by $0.02 per share to reflect the change in recording compensation expense on stock options and other forms of equity awards in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123(R).

The company's net sales for the quarter totaled $610.0 million, up 19.9 percent from $508.7 million for the same period last year. By division, net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2006 were $224.6 million for Ann Taylor compared to $212.2 million last year, and $315.5 million for Ann Taylor LOFT compared to $245.4 million last year.

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