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Zale Earnings Sparkle vs. Expectations

Posted: Mar. 24th, 2012  |  By Forbes

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Jewelry retailer Zale reported a narrower loss for its fiscal first quarter following the close of trading yesterday.

Zale's loss narrowed to $32 million, or $0.99 per share, from a loss of $97 million, or $3.03 per share, in last year's first quarter.

The loss was narrower than analysts expected, as well.

Revenue rose 7.3%, to $351 million, on same-store sales of 5.8%.

Gross margin rose to 53.5 % from 50.5%, on price hikes and lower discounts that were partially offset by rising commodity costs, the company said.

Zale CEO Theo Killion noted the company's performance demonstrates the progress it is making towards returning to profitability, as its efforts to expand operating margins gain traction.

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