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Published
Mar 8, 2012
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Retailer Hot Topic sees Q1 profit above estimates

By
Reuters
Published
Mar 8, 2012

Teen apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc (HOTT.O) reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher gross margins, and forecast a profit for the current quarter, sending its shares up 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Hot Topic, which also raised its quarterly dividend 14 percent, expects a first-quarter profit of 2 cents to 5 cents a share. Analysts were expecting the company to break even, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which sells licensed band and movie merchandise, posted a fourth-quarter net income of $9 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $0.6 million, or 1 cent a share, last year.

Sales fell 1 percent to $209.9 million.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 20 cents a share on revenue of $209.3 million.

Gross margins increased to 35.4 percent from 32.2 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Shares of the company were up at $9.10 after the bell. They closed at $8.79 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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