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Kirkland’s Inc.’s (NASDAQ:KIRK) third-quarter 2011 earnings of 6 cents a share came in ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 4 cents per share. However, earnings were short of the prior-year quarter’s figures of 11 cents.

Quarter in Detail

Kirkland’s net sales went up 4.7% year over year to $97.1 million from $92.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Consolidated comparable store sales slipped 3.6% compared with a 2.4% decrease in the prior-year quarter.

On a year-over-year basis, gross profit contracted 3.9% to $36.1 million. Kirkland posted an operating income of $0.2 million, as against an operating income of $3.8 million posted in the year-ago quarter.

Other Financial Update

Kirkland’s exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $60.3 million and no debt.

The Company opened 13 stores and closed 6 stores during the third quarter of 2011, bringing the total number of stores to 301 as of quarter’s end.

In addition, Kirkland’s repurchased 837,803 shares of common stock for a total of $8.0 million, or an average price of $9.50 per share.

It has repurchased an additional 80,548 shares since quarter end for a total of 918,351 shares. The Company has $31.1 million remaining under its repurchase authorization.

Guidance

Kirkland's expects to open approximately 8 new stores in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, representing a square footage growth of 10%.

The Company expects net sales to be in the range of $142 million to $145 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, while for the fiscal year sales are expected to be in the range of $423 million to $426 million.

Currently, Kirkland’s has a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term 'Buy' rating. On a long term basis, we provide a "Neutral" rating on the stock.

KIRKLANDS INC: Free Stock Analysis Report

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Source: Kirkland's Beats, But Earnings Down From 2010

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