Chico's FAS Inc CHS
Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/23/2011

Operator: Greetings, and welcome to the Chico’s FAS Fourth Quarter Results Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Mr. Robert Atkinson, Vice President of Investor Relations for Chico’s FAS. Thank you, Mr. Atkinson, you may begin.

Robert C. Atkinson - VP, IR: Thanks, Jackie, and good morning everyone. Welcome to the Chico’s fourth quarter earnings conference call and webcast. Dave Dyer and Kent Kleeberger, join me here at our National Store Support Center in Fort Meyers.

Before Dave begins his executive overview, I must remind you of our Safe Harbor statement. Certain statements made this morning including without limitation, statements addressing the beliefs, plans, objectives, estimates or expectations of the Company or future results or events constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 as amended.

Such forward-looking statements involve known or unknown risks including, but not limited to, general economic and business conditions, and the conditions within the specialty retail industry. There can be no assurance that future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements will occur.

Users of forward-looking statements are encouraged to review our latest annual report on Form 10-K, our filings on Form 10-Q, management’s discussion and analysis in the Company’s latest annual report to shareholders, our filings on Form 8-K and other federal security law filings for a description of other important factors that may affect the Company’s results of operations and financial condition.

The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that projected results expressed or implied by such statements will not be realized. Please note that we will file an 8-K with the SEC that will include a transcript of today’s conference call and webcast.

With that I’ll turn it over to Dave Dyer. Dave?

David F. Dyer - President and CEO: Thanks, Bob, and good morning and thank you for joining our analyst call for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter and for our year end. We are pleased to report both sales and earnings increases for the quarter in spite of a winter weather pattern that I have not seen the likes of in my retail career. Usually, you get one or two things happening during a quarter but this year, snowstorm on top of snowstorm, torrential rains, ice storms, mudslides occurring coast-to-coast usually just in time for the busy weekend which in turn caused several hundred stores not to be able to open, I mean, what next, (locust). We estimate weather cost us $10 million to $12 million in sales which would improve our comps by a couple of points and our EPS by $0.02. That said I was pleased how our brands reacted to the business to make sure we entered spring in a good clean inventory position. I believe we began the holiday season with great fashion assortments that resonated with our customer.

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