U.S. Markets closed

Christopher & Banks raises key sales expectations

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Christopher & Banks shares rose Tuesday after the women's clothing retailer said it expects a key sales measure will come in higher than originally anticipated for its fiscal fourth quarter.

It expects that revenue from stores open at least a year will increase by a high-teens percentage in the three months through Feb. 2. It had previously forecast gains in the high single to low double digits. This is considered a key measure of a retailer's financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.

Christopher & Banks Corp. also said that merchandise sales will be more profitable in the fourth quarter than in the same period last year.

The improvement in the measure is a sign that Christopher & Banks has progressed in its turnaround, said CEO LuAnn Via. The company posted an annual loss in its previous fiscal year. It was hit hard during the recession and has closed stores and cut jobs to cope with sales declines.

The company will provide further details when it reports its full quarterly results on March 13.

The Minneapolis-based retailer operates 623 stores, which includes its namesake stores and plus-size clothing division CJ Banks.

Shares rose 53 cents, or 9.4 percent, to $6.20 after the market closed. Its shares gained 10 cents to close regular trading at $5.67. Shares have nearly tripled over the past 12 months.