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Destination Maternity revenue metric up in 1Q

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Destination Maternity's fiscal first-quarter revenue declined slightly from a year ago, but widely-followed revenue metric rose 1.9 percent for the period.

The maternity clothing company said Tuesday that its revenue edged down to $135.3 million from $136.4 million. The retailer said the decline was mostly due to lower sales related to its ongoing efforts to close underperforming stores.

That was within the range of the company's forecast for revenue of $132.5 million to $136.5 million.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 1.9 percent. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. Destination Maternity Corp. said that the results included online sales.

CEO Ed Krell said in a statement that the Philadelphia company was pleased with its first-quarter sales performance, as it had one less Saturday in the period compared with a year earlier and also was hurt by Superstorm Sandy.

Destination Maternity anticipates first-quarter earnings near the middle of its previous forecast of 25 cents to 32 cents per share.

Destination Maternity had 621 stores, 1,266 leased department locations and 1,887 total retail locations as of Dec. 31.

Its shares finished at $21.41 on Monday. They are trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $14.53 to $22.53.