Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) Forecasts Slow 4Q Sales, But Improves Earnings

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Dallas, Texas 02/10/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) The $1.5 billion market capped apparel store Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) announced on 6th February that it is reducing its 4Q sales guidance on the back of lower than expected customer foot falls and a slowing down customer spending patterns. The speciality retailer has also highlighted that the undue cold conditions which have been buffeting large parts of U.S since the beginning of this year has also led to a huge dip in sales in those states and cities which have been most impacted by the winter storms. Post its reduction in forecast, the retailer now hopes to bring in revenue of $623 million in the 4Q, which is 2.6 percent lesser than its previously forecasted $640 million.

Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) expects revenues from stores which have had 12 month presence will go up by 3 percent for 4Q with the flag ship Ann Taylor brand pulling the revenues down by 1 percent, while the less premium Loft brand shoring up the firms revenue with a 6 percent increase in the same period. In spite of the lower than expected sales and hence drop in profits, the gross margins for the quarter is expected to go up as per the 4Q estimates provided by the speciality retailer. The underlying secret for this accomplishment, Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) reveals is the fact that they did not resort for heavier discounting and special pricing schemes to drive up sales during the holiday shopping  season last year.

Full year revenue from its operations is also likely to be down marginally to $2.49 billion as against previously forecasted $2.51 billion, as per Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) estimation. The dip is being ascribed to the lower than expected performance in 4Q, which traditionally is the biggest quarter for the firm in terms of revenue. Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) CEO and President Kay Krill has been quoted to have said that “the company is pleased with the year’s results, despite the weaker-than-expected fourth quarter.”

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