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Key sales measure slips in January for Stein Mart

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Stein Mart Inc. said Thursday that a key sales measure slipped in January due to severe weather.

The discount retailer, based in Jacksonville, Fla., said that its revenue from stores open at least a year fell 0.7 percent. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting the gauge to be flat for the month.

Sales at stores open at least a year is a key measure of a retailer's financial performance that strips away the impact of recently opened and closed stores.

Stein Mart said that after adjusting for bad weather in much of the country, its sales trends were consistent with its trends for the year. The company said it posted the strongest sales in its linens, ladies' boutique and gifts departments, while its jewelry, ladies' sportswear and mens' departments showed a weaker performance.

The company's revenue from established stores increased 3.1 percent in its fourth quarter and 3.7 percent for the year.

Stein Mart's gains were enough to send its shares up 45 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $12.74 in low-volume afternoon trading. Its share price is up 55 percent over the past 12 months.

The retailer, based in Jacksonville, Fla., operated 264 stores as of the end of January, scattered from California to Massachusetts.