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Signet Jewelers 3Q net income jumps 34 percent

NEW YORK (AP) -- Signet Jewelers Ltd. said Tuesday its third-quarter net income jumped 34 percent, boosted by higher sales at its U.S. Kay jewelry stores and online.

For the quarter ended Oct. 27, the Bermuda-based company earned $34.9 million, or 43 cents per share, up from $26.1 million, or 30 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue edged up less than a percent to $716.2 million from $710.5 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 37 cents per share on $734.1 million in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

The company said its overall sales at stores open at least a year increased 1.4 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes sales at stores that recently opened or closed.

Online sales rose 35 percent to $19.6 million.

In the U.S., sales rose 2 percent to $575.6 million and included a 1.2 percent increase in revenue at stores open at least a year. That growth was driven by a 5.5 percent increase at Kay stores open at least a year, which offset a 4.1 percent drop in same-store sales at the company's Jared locations.

United Kingdom sales fell 4.7 percent to $140.6 million, but included a 2.3 percent increase in revenue at stores open at least a year.

The company said it expects to post fiscal fourth-quarter net income of between $1.95 and $2.10 per share, while analysts expect a profit of $2.08 per share. The guidance includes the results of the Ultra Stores chain which Signet acquired for $57 million during the current quarter.

Signet shares fell $1.70, or 3.2 percent, to $51.29 in afternoon trading, after dipping as low as $50.80 earlier in the day.