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Restoration Hardware raises 1st-quarter forecasts

CORTE MADERA, Calif. (AP) -- Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. boosted its fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue forecasts on Friday, helped by lean inventory levels and shoppers reacting more favorably to its product assortment.

Shares reached their highest level since going public in November.

Restoration Hardware, a home products chain, has rebranded itself as RH and is focusing on high-end furnishings rather than its Americana, nostalgia-based roots.

The company is several years into a turnaround. Restoration Hardware was losing money when it was bought by a private equity firm in in 2008. It has since redesigned stores, revamped its product line and focused on a higher-end market.

Restoration Hardware now anticipates first-quarter adjusted earnings of 2 cents to 4 cents per share. It previously expected to break even or lose up to 1 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet, on average, expect a loss of 1 cent per share.

Revenue is now predicted in a range of $295 million to $300 million, up from its prior outlook of $280 million to $285 million. Wall Street forecasts revenue of $284.1 million.

Revenue at stores open at least a year is anticipated to rise 41 percent. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

CEO Carlos Alberini said in a statement that the company's leaner inventory position has allowed it to ship products earlier than expected, which has improved customer service for shoppers.

Last month Restoration Hardware reported a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by costs related to its initial public offering. But its adjusted results beat analysts' expectations.

Shares of Restoration Hardware, which is based in Corte Madera, Calif., gained $7.40, or 18.4 percent, to $47.65 in afternoon trading. The stock hit $52.48 earlier in the session, the highest level since the company went public in November.