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Gymboree 3rd-qtr sales comparison falls 4 percent

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The Gymboree Corp. on Thursday said its third-quarter sales at stores open at least a year fell 4 percent, but the children’s retailer nevertheless raised its profit forecast for the period.

The figure is an important gauge of retail health, because it measures performance at existing stores, rather than newly opened ones.

Net sales for the quarter ended Oct. 31 rose 2 percent, to $265.6 million, from $261.3 million a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, were expecting sales for the quarter of $273.5 million

Gymboree now expects third-quarter profit between $1.10 and $1.13 per share, up from its prior forecast of between $1.05 and $1.10 per share. Analysts project a profit of $1.10 per share.

The company plans to report full third-quarter results on Nov. 18.

Gymboree shares fell $2.36, or 5.4 percent, to $41.17 in morning trading.

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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