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New York & Co. issues strong 4Q forecast

NEW YORK (AP) -- Women's clothing seller New York & Co. Inc. said Tuesday that shoppers responded well to products and marketing strategies during the holidays and expects strong fiscal fourth-quarter results.

New York & Co. expects operating income between $9 million and $10 million, or $5 million to $6 million on an adjusted basis, for the period that ended Feb. 2. This is at the high end of its previous outlook of $2 million to $6 million and a significant improvement from last year's operating loss of $10.8 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast adjusted earnings of $4.4 million for the period.

The company expects revenue, excluding merchandise credits, of roughly $287 million, driven by an extra week in the period and stronger sales at established stores. Analysts had forecast revenue of $275.6 million for the period.

It expects revenue from its stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of operating performance because it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores, to increase 2.3 percent by comparison to the prior year.

New York & Co. expects to report its full results during the third week of March.

The company also announced Tuesday that actress Eva Mendes will become an ambassador for the brand and partner with the company to design a line clothing and accessories beginning in the second half of its 2013 fiscal year.

Shares of New York & Co. increased 37 cents, more than 9 percent, to $4.37. The stock is near the high end of its 52-week trading range of $2.56 to $4.72.

The retailer, based in New York, operates 519 women's clothing shops.