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Sandy hurts Saks 4Q, adj. results top Street

NEW YORK (AP) -- Superstorm Sandy disrupted Saks' sales in the fourth quarter, and the luxury retailer reported a 45 decline in its net income for the crucial holiday period. Its adjusted earnings and revenue beat Wall Street's expectations.

Shares rose in premarket trading Tuesday.

In November, Saks said that 11 of its 45 Saks Fifth Avenue stores were closed from one to seven days because of Sandy. This included its flagship store in New York, which was closed for two days. In addition, 15 of its 64 Off 5th stores were closed up to five days. None of the stores sustained material damage.

For the three months ended Feb. 2, Saks earned $20.4 million, or 13 cents per share. That's down from $37 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding impairment charges, store closing costs and other items, earnings were 17 cents per share.

Analysts forecast earnings of 15 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Shares of Saks rose 16 cents to $11.20 before the market open.

Revenue increased 6 percent to $976.6 million from $925.1 million on strong sales of women's contemporary clothing, European designer clothing, shoes, men's contemporary clothing and accessories, handbags and fragrances.

The current quarter included an extra week compared with a year ago.

Wall Street expected $963.4 million in revenue.

Revenue at stores open at least a year edged up 0.7 percent. The results do not include the additional week.

This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Full-year net income fell 16 percent to $62.9 million, or 41 cents per share, from $74.8 million, or 45 cents per share, in the previous year. Annual revenue climbed 5 percent to $3.15 billion from $3.01 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 3.2 percent.

For fiscal 2013, Saks Inc. anticipates revenue at stores open at least a year rising 3 percent to 5 percent.

The New York company currently runs 43 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 65 Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th stores.