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J. Crew Group raises guidance
26
Oct '09
J. Crew Group, Inc. announced that the Company is raising both its guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 ending October 31, 2009, and its outlook for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 ending January 30, 2010.

The Company's improved third quarter guidance reflects stronger than anticipated sales and margin trends in the third quarter. For the third quarter of fiscal 2009, the Company currently expects diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.54 to $0.59 as compared to its previously estimated range for diluted earnings per share of $0.30 to $0.33 and its actual third quarter fiscal 2008 diluted earnings per share of $0.30.

The Company's third quarter fiscal 2009 expectations reflect a high single digit increase in comparable store sales; a low single digit increase in Direct sales; and a gross profit margin increase of approximately 500 basis points as compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2008 which was 41.6% of revenues. This compares to the Company's previous guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 of a mid-single digit decline in comparable store sales; a low to mid-single-digit decline in Direct sales; and a 100 basis point increase in gross profit margin.

The Company's outlook for the fourth quarter is based on the expectation that current trends in the third quarter will continue, however there can be no assurance that this will occur. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, the Company currently expects comparable store sales to increase in the mid to high single digit range and Direct sales to increase in the low single digit range, as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.

The Company's fourth quarter fiscal 2009 gross profit margin expectations remain consistent with previous guidance of a 600 basis point sequential decline from actual third quarter results to fourth quarter. This revised outlook compares to the Company's previous outlook for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 of a low single digit increase in both comparable store sales and Direct sales.

The Company is providing this information given the significant expected outperformance to its original third quarter guidance and fourth quarter outlook previously provided in conjunction with the announcement of its second quarter results on August 27, 2009. Investors should not expect the Company to provide interim quarterly updates of guidance or outlook information in advance of scheduled quarterly earnings announcement dates.

In addition, investors should not expect the Company to update the information provided in this release in advance of the scheduled announcement date for its actual third quarter fiscal 2009 results the week of November 23, 2009.

J. Crew Group Inc


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