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Exterior of a Chicos clothing store, selling womens apparel and accesories

Melissa Kopka/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Fashion retailer Chico’s FAS (NYSE:CHS) released its Q3 numbers on Tuesday, closing the quarter with better-than-expected net sales of $518.33M (+14.3% Y/Y). The analysts consensus was $508M.

Comparable sales were up 16.5%, led by apparel brands. Chico’s and White House Black Market comparable sales grew 28.8% and 17.0%, respectively, versus last year’s quarter.

Topline performance was partially offset by 18 permanent net store closures. Inventories were up 9.5% Y/Y to $304.1M million, primarily reflecting early holiday receipts, alignment of on-hand inventories with higher consumer demand, strategic investments in basics and higher average unit costs.

Net profit rose to $24.6M or $0.20 per share, from $18.23M or $0.15 per share last year. Gross margin saw a slight decrease due to higher raw material costs, partially offset by freight costs, occupancy leverage and higher average unit retail.

Chico’s was upbeat about its Q4, with expectations of $0.07-$0.10 in EPS on consolidated net sales of $535M-$555M. Analysts expect an EPS of $0.10 on sales of $557M.

For 2022, the company estimates $0.89-$0.92 in EPS on consolidated net sales of $2.153B-$2.173B. This is higher than its earlier guidance of $0.79-$0.87 on sales of $2.14B-$2.17B. Analysts expect an EPS of $0.85 on net sales of $2.17B.

Shares are trading -6% around 10:30AM ET.

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