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Ann Taylor reaffirms earnings outlook for fiscal 2007

May '07
AnnTaylor Stores Corporation reported its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 ending May 5, 2007. The Company also reaffirmed its outlook for diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2007 in the range of $2.15 to $2.25.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2007, net sales advanced 4% to $580 million, and diluted earnings per share were $0.46, versus diluted earnings per share of $0.53 in the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

Ann Taylor indicated that, during the quarter, the Company repurchased approximately 4.2 million shares of its common stock at a total cost of approximately $163 million. Substantially all of the shares repurchased were acquired under the Company's new $300 million share repurchase authorization.

Commenting on the results of the quarter, Ann Taylor President & Chief Executive Officer Kay Krill stated, "As we expected, our results in the first quarter were mixed. Our Ann Taylor division continued to offer compelling product assortments that resonated with our clients and drove increased full-price selling, while our LOFT division continued to be challenged with a product assortment that was not balanced and did not offer enough updated classics or color."

As a result, LOFT was very promotional throughout the quarter, which significantly impacted our gross margin. That said, I am pleased with the progress we are making at LOFT to improve our product assortments, and we continue to expect the division to be back on track for the second half of this year.

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