Trendy retailer AnnTaylor Stores announced that quarterly earnings climbed to $40.8 million, or 66 cents per share, from its year-ago profit of $39.3 million, or 54 cents per share. Sales during the 3-month period jumped 6% to $601 million. The consensus estimate was for a profit of 60 cents per share on sales of $601.7 million.
However, the firm slashed its full-year profit forecast to a range of $2.05 to $2.15 per share from its previous forecast of $2.15 to $2.25. Analysts had projected earnings of $2.08 per share.
Options players were skeptical of the shares heading into the earnings report. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio rests at 1.14, as put open interest outnumbers call open interest among near-term options. This reading is higher than 73% of all those taken during the past 52 weeks. Short sellers have also flocked to this company, as nearly 8% of the firm's float has been sold short.
Investors are shrugging off the company's full-year outlook and are focused on today's better-than-expected results, as the stock is poised to gap higher on the open. In trading on Thursday, the stock pulled back and found support at its descending 20-day moving average. This short-term trendline could now act as a springboard to launch it higher.