updated 8/16/2005 5:48:29 PM ET 2005-08-16T21:48:29

Nordstrom Inc. said Tuesday that that its second-quarter earnings rose 39 percent, beating Wall Street's expectations, and the upscale clothing retailer boosted its profit outlook for the year.

For the second quarter ended July 30, net income was $148.9 million, or 53 cents per share, up from $106.9 million, or 37 cents a share for the comparable period last year.

The results, announced after the stock market closed for regular trading, topped a mean estimate of 48 cents per share by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Nordstrom shares closed at $31.12, down $1.48 or 4.5 percent on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock rose nearly 4 percent, or $1.23, in after-hours trading. Shares have ranged from $18.03 to $37.96 over the past year.

Sales for the quarter climbed to $2.1 billion, in line with analysts' forecasts and up about 8 percent from $2 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Sales at stores open more than one year rose 6.2 percent. Nordstrom said the increase topped expectations as the company sold more goods at regular prices and saw a favorable initial response to fall merchandise.

Nordstrom forecast earnings for the third quarter of 30 cents to 35 cents per share, and 3 percent to 5 percent growth in same-store sales. Analysts are expecting the company to earn 32 cents in the quarter.

For the full fiscal year ending Jan. 28, 2006, Nordstrom said it expected earnings to range from $1.80 to $1.90 per share, up from its previous prediction of $1.70 to $1.75 a share. Analysts are projecting a profit of $1.77 per share for the year.

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