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Urban Outfitters 4Q profit doubles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Urban Outfitters Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter net income more than doubled on stronger sales but still fell just short of market expectations. Its shares fell in after-hours trading Monday.

The Philadelphia company owns the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, Terrain and Urban Outfitters brands.

Urban earned $82.5 million, or 56 cents per share, for the period that ended Jan. 31. That compares with $39.3 million, or 27 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Its revenue increased to $856.8 million from $730.6 million on stronger revenue from its Free People, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie brands.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 57 cents per share on revenue of $850.5 million.

The company got a boost from a 44 percent increase in sales directly to consumers, which included online and catalog sales. Its total revenue from retail stores increased nearly 9 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, sales at stores open for at least a year were flat. That is a key indicator of financial performance because it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores. Excluding returns of items bought online or through catalogs and returned in stores, the measure would have increased in the low single-digit percentage range.

For the year ended Jan. 31, Urban Outfitters made $237.3 million, or $1.62 per share, compared with $185.3 million or $1.19 per share in the previous year. Sales rose to $2.79 billion from $2.47 billion.

CEO Richard Hayne said the company succeeded in its plans to improve margins and total revenue during the fourth quarter and it will pursue a similar strategy in the current fiscal year.

The company operates 215 Urban Outfitters stores, 180 Anthropologie, 77 Free People stores and two BHLDN stores, as well as the related websites. It also owns 2 Terrain garden centers and a website.

Shares fell 70 cents to $40.80 in after-hours trading. The stock rose 19 cents to close regular trading at $41.50.