99 Cents Only Stores said on Thursday that its second-quarter sales grew a better-than-expected 9 percent as more consumers visited the discount retailer.

The Commerce-based chain said sales totaled almost $318 million for the quarter ended ending Sept. 27. Second quarter sales a year ago were nearly $291 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company's revenues to be $302 million.

The company said same-store sales grew 4.7 percent. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are considered a key indicator. This "indicates that we are continuing to attract new customers who are looking for ways to save during these challenging economic times," said Chief Executive Eric Schiffer in a statement.

The company, which last month raised its top price to 99.99 cents due to rising costs, noted that publicity about the price increase likely was a factor in raising sales. The company has not announced when it will release earnings for the quarter.

Shares of 99 Cents rose 27 cents, or 3 percent to $10.07 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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