March 25, 2009 / 9:12 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Citi Trends Q4 profit jumps 20 pct, sees strong 2009

* Q4 EPS $0.70 vs est of $0.55

* Sales rise 8.9 pct, beats Street

* Same-store sales drop 1.9 pct

* Sees 2009 EPS of about $1.30, beats estimates

* Shares up 13 pct after the bell

March 25 (Reuters) - Fashion-apparel retailer Citi Trends Inc (CTRN.O) reported a 20 percent increase in quarterly profit, beating Wall Street estimates, helped by inventory controls which offset a drop in same-store sales, and forecast strong 2009 earnings, sending its shares up 13 percent.

Citi Trends, which competes with TJX Companies Inc (TJX.N), Ross Stores Inc (ROST.O) and others, said it expects same-store sales to increase 3 percent in 2009.

For the fiscal year ending Jan. 31 2010, the company forecast earnings of about $1.30 a share. Analysts on average were looking for profit of 90 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company said its Chief Executive Ed Anderson will retire, effective April 4, and Chief Operating Officer David Alexander will take over as CEO.

For the latest fourth-quarter ended Jan. 31, profit was $10.1 million, or 70 cents a share, compared with $8.4 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier.

Total sales rose 8.9 percent to $146.6 million. Shares of the Savannah, Georgia-based company were up 13 percent at $18.00 in trading after the bell. They closed at $15.88 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

For related alerts, please double click [ID:nWNAB7383] [ID:nWNAB7402] (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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