Shares of 99 Cents Only Stores rose nearly 7 percent Tuesday after the discount retailer posted fourth-quarter sales numbers that beat analysts' estimates.


The company said late Monday that its fourth-quarter sales rose 9.4 percent to $278 million, exceeding Wall Street expectations of $254 million, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Financial.


Same-store sales for the quarter also rose 3 percent, mostly due to higher transaction sizes, the City of Commerce-based chain said. The average sale jumped to $9.41 from $9.22.


Total sales for the year ended March 31 rose 7.9 percent to $1.1 billion, mainly due to a boost in sales at the company's Texas stores. Same-store sales for the year rose 2.4 percent.


"We believe Texas same-store-sales continued to benefit primarily from operational improvements and positive word of mouth," said Chief Executive Eric Schiffer in a statement.


The company has not filed its last three quarterly reports or its year-end results for 2006 as it conducts a review of stock option grants from 1994 to 2004. It has said it expects a charge of about $2.1 million to account for financial errors and its stock options practices.


Shares in 99 Cents gained 95 cents to $15.46 in afternoon trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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