Nov 6, 2008
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Hot Topic Oct same-store sales up 8.3 percent

Nov 6, 2008

* Raises Q3 earnings outlook

* Oct. same-store sales up 8.3 pct

* Q3 sales up 5 pct

* Shares rise 12 pct after hours

(Adds sales breakdown, estimates, detail, dateline)

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Teen clothing retailer Hot Topic Inc reported an 8.3 percent rise in October same-store sales, helped by Halloween shopping, and raised its third-quarter profit view, sending its shares up 12 percent.


The company -- which sells edgy, Goth-inspired clothing, as well as music and accessories -- posted a 5 percent rise in total third-quarter sales to $64.8 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters Estimates had been expecting same-store sales, which measure sales at stores open at least a year, to fall 3.2 percent on average.

Sales of accessories rose 22 percent in the quarter and women's apparel sales rose 5 percent. Men's apparel and music fell 2 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

"Halloween traffic drove the increase to comp trend during the back half of the month," said Chief Financial Officer Jim McGinty in a prerecorded sales call.

The company said it had more transactions during the month, although the average transaction size fell.

Hot Topic, which also operates the plus-size Torrid chain, now expects to earn 16 cents to 17 cents a share for the third quarter, compared with its previous estimate of 12 cents to 15 cents a share.

Analysts, on average, have been expecting earnings of 13 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company's shares rose to $6.75 in after-hours trading after closing at $6.01 Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

For the alerts, please click (Additional reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore) (Reporting by Alexandria Sage)

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