Children's Place cuts Q4 profit outlook

Thu Jan 5, 2012 6:54am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Children's Place Retail Stores Inc (PLCE.O: Quote) lowered its fourth-quarter earnings outlook, hurt by increased discounts to clear inventory, and the kids' clothes retailer said its comparable sales would remain flat.

The company now expects to earn 85 cents to 90 cents per share from continued operations, down from its previous guidance of $1.19 to $1.24 per share for the quarter.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.23 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Secaucus, New Jersey-based company said it discounted to clear its winter apparel and accessories in an "unseasonably warm weather."

"These discounts, coupled with record high apparel costs in the fourth quarter, significantly impacted our margin," Chief Executive Jane Elfers said in a statement.

Children's Place has had merchandising and inventory issues in the past and it has often discounted at the end of each season to get rid of excess products.

Shares of the company closed at $53.07 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Arpita Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)