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Sally Beauty 1Q profit slips, but traffic climbs

DENTON, Texas (AP) -- Sally Beauty said Thursday that its fiscal first-quarter net income dipped 2 percent as expenses climbed.

But revenue grew and topped Wall Street's view as traffic climbed in the holiday quarter. The seller of beauty supplies' shares climbed nearly 7 percent in midday trading.

Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. earned $58 million for the three months that ended on Dec. 31, down from $59 million. On a per-share basis, earnings rose to 35 cents from 32 cents because the company had fewer shares outstanding.

Analysts predicted earnings of 36 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Profit was hurt as selling, general and administrative expenses rose 4.5 percent to $319.5 million. That was mostly due to the cost of opening new stores.

Revenue increased 4 percent, to $940.5 million from $905.4 million. Wall Street forecast $933.4 million.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 2.2 percent, lifted by higher traffic. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. Sally Beauty sells and distributes beauty products through about 4,700 stores.

Shares of Sally Beauty rose $1.95 to $29.90. The stock hit $31.83 earlier Thursday, just shy of its 52-week high of $31.86.