April 8, 2009 / 9:50 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Charlotte Russe sees strong Q2, Q3; shares rise

* Sees Q2 adj EPS 2 cents to 5 cents

* Sees Q3 adj EPS 17 cents to 21 cents

* Shares up 14.6 pct after the bell

April 8 (Reuters) - Women’s-apparel retailer Charlotte Russe Holding Inc CHIC.O forecast a better-than-expected second-quarter profit, boosted by strong gross margin performance and tighter expense control.

The company, which is looking to sell itself, also forecast a third-quarter profit of 17 cents to 27 cents a share, excluding items, topping market estimates of 10 cents.

Shares of the company, which is scheduled to report second-quarter results on April 16, were up at $10.50 in trading after the bell. They closed at $9.16 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

For the second quarter ended March 28, the company expects a loss of 3 cents to 6 cents a share.

    But, excluding items, it now expects to earn between 2 cents and 5 cents a share, reversing a prior loss forecast of 10 cents to 20 cents.

    Charlotte Russe, which competes with Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N) and Hot Topic Inc HOTT.O also reported second-quarter net sales of $191.2 million, a rise of 3.3 percent from the year-ago period.

    Comparable store inventories were down 18.4 percent during the quarter. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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