Feb 24, 2009
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Carter's Q4 beats Street on retail segment strength

Feb 24, 2009

* Q4 EPS $0.47 beats Street by a cent

* Strong retail sales of Carter's, OshKosh brands

* Q4 rev beats Street

* Shares rise as much as 5 pct

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Children's clothing retailer Carter's Inc (CRI.N) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results as strong retail sales of its namesake and OshKosh labels helped offset weakness in the wholesale segment, sending its shares up as much as 5 percent.

The company, which operates 253 Carter's and 165 OshKosh retail stores, saw retail comparable-store sales at its namesake label rise 4.1 percent in the quarter, while retail same-store sales at OshKosh increased 3.6 percent.

Carter's wholesale sales fell 0.6 percent to $125.7 million due primarily to the impact of customer bankruptcies. OshKosh wholesale sales decreased 16.8 percent on lower demand, the company said in a statement.

Carter's, which also sells its Child of Mine brand to Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and Just One Year brand to Target Corp (TGT.N), achieved sales growth of 16.4 percent in its mass merchandise channel.

The Atlanta-based retailer reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $27.3 million, down from $28.6 million a year earlier.

Consolidated net sales at Carter's, which competes with Children's Place Retail Stores Inc (PLCE.O) and Gymboree Corp (GYMB.O), rose 7.3 percent to $422.0 million.

Shares of the company rose were up at $15.10 in trading after the bell. They had closed at $14.42 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Poojya Trivedi in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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