FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) -- Vera Bradley Inc. reported a jump in sales of its colorful bags and accessories during its first quarter, helping it beat market expectations and triggering a rally in its shares in after-hours trading Thursday.
The handbag maker reported after the close of trading on Wall Street that it earned $12.6 million, or 31 cents per share, for the quarter that ended April 28. That's up from $11.2 million, or 28 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Vera Bradley, which sells its products at its own stores and through other specialty retailers, said its total quarterly revenue jumped nearly 16 percent to $117.2 million.
The results beat market expectations of 29 cents per share on revenue of $116.2 million, according to data from FactSet.
Vera Bradley, like many of its peers, coped with higher cotton and labor costs during the period but was able to offset that with stronger sales. It said that revenue from its own stores grew more than 34 percent to $59.2 million, boosted by the addition of 19 stores. Online sales grew by 26 percent and sales to other retailers increased 1 percent to $58 million.
The company said its revenue from stores open at least a year increased 4.3 percent for the quarter. This is considered a key indicator of a retailer's financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.
Michael Ray, Vera Bradley's CEO said that the company was able to expand the reach of its brand and the company is very optimistic about its long-term prospects.
Vera Bradley said it now expects to earn 34 to 36 cents per share for its second quarter on revenue of $121 million to $123 million. Analysts forecast earnings of 38 cents per share on revenue of $121.4 million.
It backed its full-year forecast of earnings of $1.68 to $1.71 per share on revenue of $535 million to $540 million. Analysts are expecting the company to earn $1.71 a share on revenue of $549.7 million.
Vera Bradley, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., sells its bags online, through its more than 60 retail and outlet stores as well as through more than 3,300 specialty retailers.
Shares of the company jumped $1.89, nearly 9 percent, to $23.76 in after-hours trading. Its stock price fell 51 cents to close regular trading at $21.87.