Guess Inc. raised its fourth-quarter guidance on Thursday, a week after the company announced better-than-expected holiday sales.

The Los Angeles-based apparel maker and retailer said it expects fourth-quarter net income of between 91 and 93 cents per share, up nearly 40 percent from the previous forecast of 65 to 67 cents per share.

The company attributed the jump to higher-than-expected retail sales, which grew 10.8 percent in the final quarter of 2006 and surged 15.8 percent for the year.

Analysts were predicting profit of 72 cents per share, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

For the year, Guess now expects earnings between $2.60 and $2.62 per share, compared to previous expectations of $2.34 to $2.36 per share. Analysts were expecting $2.41 per share.

Shares in the Los Angeles company were up $2.51 (3.4 percent) to $77 in midday trading Thursday.

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