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Stage Stores: Could top 2012 profit forecast

HOUSTON (AP) -- Stage Stores Inc., which operates Bealls, Goody's and other moderately priced department stores in mid-sized markets, said Wednesday that it expects to meet or beat its earnings and sales guidance for the 2012 fiscal year.

The retailer made the announcement ahead of its CEO's presentation at the 15th Annual ICR XChange Conference.

Stage Stores said in November that it expects to earn between $1.20 and $1.28 per share for the year, excluding one-time charges and gains. It forecast annual revenue between $1.63 billion and $1.65 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet have predicted that the company will earn $1.31 per share on revenue of $1.65 billion.

The company's shares increased $1.17, or 5.25 percent, to $23.74 in late afternoon trading on the news. Since bottoming at a 52-week low of $13.29 a year ago, the stock has been on a steady rise, recently peaking at a year-high of $27.42.