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Children's Place lowers FY outlook after tough Q3

SECAUCUS, N.J. The Children's Place Retail Stores announced third quarter net sales of $453.4 million, a 2.1% decline compared with $463.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2009.

Comparable-retail sales, which include online sales, declined 5.7% in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 compared with a decline of 1.6% the previous year. During the third quarter of fiscal 2010, comparable-store sales declined 8.8% in the United States and 7.9% in Canada, while comparable-online sales increased 33%.

Income from continuing operations after tax was $31.2 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. In the third quarter of fiscal 2009, income from continuing operations after tax was $38.2 million, or $1.38 per diluted share.

"As we announced mid-October, third quarter sales and profits for The Children's Place were impacted by poorly performing fashion in the back-to-school line as well as unseasonably warm temperatures," commented Jane Elfers, president and CEO of The Children's Place. "While short-term market conditions remain challenging for our business, we are making significant progress on our longer-term growth initiatives which we believe will lead to enhanced sales and profitability in 2011 and beyond."

The company updated its guidance for fiscal 2010 and now projects earnings per diluted share from continuing operations will be in the range of $2.78 to $2.83 for fiscal 2010, down from its previous guidance of $3.08 to $3.18.

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