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Zumiez raises 4Q guidance on higher apparel sales

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- Zumiez Inc. reported Wednesday that a key sales measure improved at its stores during January and the action-sports retailer raised its fourth quarter 2012 earnings guidance

Revenue from stores open at least a year increased 2.6 percent for the five-week period ended Feb. 2. That compares with an 11.1 percent gain in the same period last year. The sales metric is a key measure of a retailer's performance because it strips away revenue from recently opened or closed stores.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting the company to show a drop of 3.1 percent for the month.

Total sales the four-week period ended Jan. 28 increased 57.9 percent to $50.3 million, compared with $31.8 million for the prior-year period.

Based on the better-than-expected results the company raised its fiscal fourth-quarter net income estimate to between 65 and 66 cents per share, up from 59 to 62 cents per share. Analysts are expecting 67 cents a share, according to FactSet.

Zumiez Inc. shares rose $1.16, or 5 percent, to $23.31 in extended trading following the release of the sales numbers. They ended the regular session up $1.02, or 4.8 percent, to $22.15.