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Express shares rally on higher Q4 outlook

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Apparel retailer Express (NYSE:EXPR) raised its fourth quarter outlook due to better than expected performance during the holiday season, sending shares up more than 22% this afternoon. 

The Ohio-based company now sees a profit in the range of 72 to 74 cents a share for the three months ending February 2, up from its prior forecast of 62 to 68 cents a share. 

Comparable sales are anticipated to range from flat to up 1%, compared to its prior expectation of a decrease in the low single digit range. 

"Our performance during the holiday season exceeded our expectations based on third quarter trends," said chairman and CEO, Michael Weiss.

"Our promotional strategy and the introduction of opening price points in key categories contributed to a sequential improvement in comparable sales since the third quarter of 2012 and higher gross margin dollars versus last year's holiday season.  

"E-Commerce, one of our four growth pillars, continued to grow as a percentage of the business and customers responded strongly to our offering, especially our new spring assortment."

Based on the new fourth quarter forecast, the company has adjusted its full year guidance as well, with full year comparable sales now expected to be roughly flat compared to the prior outlook of a decrease in the low single digit range. 

Profit for the year is expected between $1.56 to $1.59 per share, up from its previous view of $1.47 tp $1.53 per share. 

The company is slated to report its fourth quarter results the week of March 11. 

Express is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer of women's and men's merchandise, targeting the 20 to 30 year old customer. It operates over 600 retail stores, across the United States, in Canada and in Puerto Rico.

Shares in the retailer jumped over 22% to $17.19 on Tuesday. 

Quick facts: Express, Inc.

Price: 3.83 USD

NYSE:EXPR
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $257.63 m
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