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Originally published March 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM | Page modified March 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

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Zumiez posts double-digit profit jump, beating forecast

Lynnwood-based clothing chain Zumiez said its fourth-quarter profit rose 22 percent to nearly $23 million.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Lynnwood-based clothing chain Zumiez posted a 22 percent increase in its fourth-quarter profit Thursday, beating Wall’s Street’s forecast.

Zumiez said it made a quarterly profit of $22.9 million, or 74 cents a share, up from $18.7 million, or 60 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 22 percent to $224.4 million.

Analysts forecast a per-share profit of 73 cents and $223.4 million in sales.

But Zumiez forecast a tepid first quarter, which began in February. That dampened any enthusiasm that its better-than-expected fourth-quarter results might have generated on Wall Street.

The company’s stock closed Thursday down 1 percent at $24.22 before the results were released. After they came out, the stock slipped 22 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $24 in after-hours trading.

Looking ahead, Zumiez said it expects to post a first-quarter profit of 4 to 7 cents a share, vs. 14 cents a year ago. It said quarterly sales at stores open at least a year likely will decline in the mid-single-digit range.

Chief Executive Rick Brooks told analysts on an earnings call that 2013 got off to a slow start, with same-store sales down 9 percent in February.

For all of 2012, Zumiez recorded a profit of $42.2 million, or $1.35 a share, representing 13 percent annual growth. Sales increased 20 percent to $669.4 million.

Zumiez sells skateboard- and snowboard-inspired clothes, shoes and equipment at about 500 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe.

The company plans to open about 60 new stores in 2013, including 10 in Canada and six in Europe.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com

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