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Urban Outfitters 3Q profit falls 31 percent on Astini News

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Urban Outfitters Inc.'s fiscal third-quarter net income fell nearly 31 percent, despite higher revenue, as markdowns and softer sales at its the clothing retailer's namesake and Anthropologie stores shrank is profit margin.

The owner of the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN brands reported Monday after the markets closed that it earned $50.7 million, or 33 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That's down from $73.1 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased 6 percent to $610 million, boosted by the Free People brand in particular.

Analysts polled by FactSet anticipated the company would earn 32 cents per share on revenue of $614.1 million.

Revenue improved across its lines. But revenue from stores open at least a year was bleaker. This is a key measure of retailers' financial performance because it excludes stores that recently opened or closed.

Urban said this key measure, which includes direct sales to consumers, fell 3 percent for the whole company. It increased 14 percent at Free People, was flat at Urban Outfitters and decreased 7 percent at Anthropologie.

The retailer said its profit margin shrank as it marked down women's clothing at both Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters to move it out the door faster. Its inventory nonetheless grew 27 percent year over year.

Urban Outfitters announced last week that it had appointed a new CEO for the eclectic, bohemian Anthropologie brand to try to reverse recent weak sales.

"We have made progress in many categories during the quarter," Urban's CEO Glen T. Senk said in a statement. "We anticipate additional improvements through continued product focus, aggressive inventory management and the organization changes we announced last week."

Urban Outfitters also said Monday that its board has approved a $10 million share repurchase plan.

The Philadelphia-based company operates more than 400 stores worldwide and sells its products through catalogs and online.

Its shares rose a penny to close at $26.83 before it reported its results.

Investors were not pleased and the shares fell $1.49, more than 6 percent, to $25.34 after hours.

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