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Vera Bradley shares soar after it boosts outlook

September 2, 2015

Vera Bradley, the Indiana-based seller of handbags with colorful patterns, surprised Wall Street with better-than-expected financial results for its fiscal second-quarter and boosted its earnings outlook for the year. Its shares soared about 23 percent in Wednesday morning trading.

New products and marketing helped boost revenue, the company said. However, stores open at least a year, which is considered an important measure of a retailer's health, dropped 15 percent as the company cut down on discounts for shoppers.

Vera Bradley reported second-quarter property of $5.7 million, or 15 cents per share, surpassing Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 10 cents per share.

The handbag and accessories company posted revenue of $120.7 million in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $115.4 million.

For the current quarter ending in November, Vera Bradley said it expects earnings between 19 cents per share and 21 cents per share and revenue in the range of $120 million to $123 million, above Wall Street expectations. Analysts expected earnings of 15 cents per share and revenue of $117.6 million, according to FactSet.

The company now expects full-year earnings between 72 cents to 78 cents per share, up from its previous forecast range between 64 cents per share and 74 cents per share, and above the 66 cents per share analysts polled by FactSet expected. Vera Bradley now expects revenue for the year between $487 million to $495 million, compared with the $480 million to $495 million range it previously expected. Analysts expected revenue of $482 million, according to FactSet.

Shares of Vera Bradley Inc. were up $2.36, or 23 percent, to $12.79 each, in late-morning trading Wednesday.

Vera Bradley is based in Roanoke, about 115 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

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