HINGHAM, Mass. Talbots reported that third quarter income from continuing operations was $17 million or 24 cents per share, compared with last year’s income from continuing operations of $15.5 million, or 28 cents per share.
Trudy Sullivan, Talbots president and CEO, said, “We achieved third quarter sales which were in line with our revised expectations and adjusted earnings results at the high end of our originally anticipated range. We saw continued improvement in gross margin, largely driven by higher merchandise margins. Importantly, during the quarter, we launched our segmentation strategy and store re-image program in addition to our enhanced marketing campaign. All of these key initiatives are designed to generate sales growth and productivity gains over time.”
Net sales for the quarter decreased 3.2% to $299.1 million, compared to $308.9 million in the same period last year. Same-store sales decreased 7.1%.
For the fourth quarter of 2010, the company anticipates adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of a loss of 5 cents per share to earnings of 3 cents per share, excluding special items. This compares to last year’s adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations of 13 cents. Based on current trends in the business, the company anticipates fourth quarter top-line sales to be in the range of flat to down low single digits compared with last year.
The company revised its previously announced full year outlook. Full year adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations are anticipated to be in the range of 70 cents to 78 cents per share, excluding special items. This compares to an adjusted loss per share from continuing operations of 10 cents reported last year and a decrease from its previously announced outlook for earnings per share in the range of 84 cents to 92 cents.