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Body Central Shares Plunge On Weak Outlook; Q1 Profit Rises

Shares of Body Central Corp. (BODY) plunged more than 30 percent in extended trade on Thursday after the specialty retailer of young women's apparel forecast results for the second quarter below analysts' estimates and lowered its financial outlook for fiscal 2012.

The company also said it continued to see softness in overall store sales trends through April.

However, Body Central's earnings for the first quarter rose 9.6 percent from last year on higher revenues and matched analysts' estimates.

Allen Weinstein, President and CEO of Body Central, said, "First quarter sales and earnings came in as expected. We are on track to open at least 35 stores in 2012."

Weinstein added, "New stores and direct sales are outperforming our plan for volume and profitability. However, we continue to see softness in overall store sales trends through April."

Jacksonville, Florida-based Body Central's first-quarter net income was $5.94 million or $0.36 per share, up from $5.42 million or $0.34 per share in the year-ago period.

Net revenues for the quarter rose 11.8 percent to $82.68 million from $73.98 million in the prior-year period.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.36 per share for the quarter on revenues of $82.12 million. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Store sales rose 12 percent to $70.9 million, due to net store unit growth of 13.6 percent. This was offset by comparable-store sales decrease of 1.4 percent. Direct sales rose by 10.1 percent to $11.7 million.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, Body Central expects earnings per share in a range of $0.26 to $0.28, net revenues of $80 million to $82 million, and comparable sales to decrease in a range of 5 to 7 percent.

Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $0.37 per share for the quarter on revenues of $86.58 million.

For fiscal 2012, Body Central now expects earnings per share in a range of $1.34 to $1.38, net revenues of $333 million to $337 million, and comparable sales to decrease in a range of 1 to 3 percent.

Earlier, the company had expected earnings per share of $1.46 to $1.50 and net revenues in a range of $343 million to $348 million.

Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $1.52 per share on revenues of $346.15 million for fiscal 2012.

BODY closed Thursday's trading at $28.92, down $0.68 or 2.30 percent on a volume of 462,587 shares. In after-hours, the stock further declined $8.92 or 30.84 percent to $20.00.

by RTT Staff Writer

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