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Children's Place cuts 2012 forecast on Sandy

SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) -- The Children's Place cut its net income forecast for the year Thursday because of increased promotions after Superstorm Sandy.

The children's clothing and accessories company said online customers in the Northeast and about 280 stores in the region — combined, about 31 percent of revenue — were affected by the storm. Children's Place is based in Secaucus, N.J.

The Children's Place predicts earnings, excluding one-time items, of $1.01 to $1.06 per share for the fiscal fourth quarter ending in January. Analysts polled by Wall Street were expecting $1.24 per share, on average, according to FactSet.

The shortfall led the company to cut its profit outlook for the year to $3.10 to $3.15 per share from $3.20 to $3.30 per share. Analysts forecast earnings of $3.31 per share.

Shares of Children's Place fell $7.80, or 13.7 percent, to $49.20 in morning trading. Over the past year, the stock has traded in a range of $43.12 to $62.24.

For the three months ended Oct. 27, net income rose 4 percent to $35 million, or $1.44 per share, from $33.7 million, or $1.33 per share, in the 2011 third quarter.

Excluding costs related to leaving Disney stores and remodeling Canadian stores, earnings were $1.60 per share, matching the average expectation of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue climbed 4 percent to $500.9 million from $484.1 million, short of Wall Street's $502.2 million estimate.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, increased 1.1 percent. This metric excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. had 1,102 stores at quarter's end.