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Ann 3Q income grows 26 percent and shares rise

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ann Inc. said Wednesday its net income climbed 26 percent in the fiscal third quarter on better sales at both Ann Taylor and Loft stores.

The company said revenue from Ann Taylor locations grew 6 percent to $244.6 million and Loft revenue rose 10 percent to $368 million during the quarter.

Sales in stores open at least a year — a key metric of a retailer's health — rose 4.3 percent at Ann Taylor and 6.2 percent at Loft, for a companywide gain of 5.5 percent.

Its shares rose $2.42, or 7.5 percent, to $34.85 in afternoon trading.

Ann said its net income grew to $40.7 million, or 84 cents per share, from $32.3 million, or 61 cents per share. Revenue rose 9 percent, to $612.5 million from $564 million.

Analysts were forecasting a smaller profit of 75 cents per share and $606.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

During the quarter the company opened 25 stores during the quarter and closed six, ending the period with 981 locations. It has 278 Ann Taylor stores, 101 Ann Taylor Factory locations, 510 Loft stores and 92 Loft Outlet stores.

Ann Inc. said it now expects to report $2.4 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012, up slightly from its previous estimate of $2.39 billion. The company said it expects to report $625 million in fourth quarter revenue.

Analysts expect revenue of $627.2 million in the fourth quarter and $2.39 billion in full-year revenue, on average.