UPDATE 1-Vera Bradley raises fourth-quarter outlook

Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:13pm EST

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Vera Bradley Inc raised its fourth-quarter profit and revenue forecasts on strong demand for its women's accessories brands, sending its shares up 10 percent in after-market trade.

The company, which is known for its bright paisley and floral prints, now expects fourth-quarter revenue of between $149 million and $154 million, up from its previous forecast of between $147 million and $152 million.

It now expects profit to be between 56 and 58 cents per share for the quarter ending Jan. 28, up from 55 to 57 cents per share.

Analysts on average are expecting a profit of 56 cents per share on revenue of $151.54 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The forecast raise may have been an attempt to soothe investor concern following the exit of Vera Bradley's chief financial officer last week, Morningstar Inc analyst Peter Wahlstrom told Reuters.

"I think it's an incremental positive ... (Investors) get to breathe a sigh of relief in that there's not a major blow up in the quarter," Wahlstrom said.

Jeffrey Blade, CFO since May 2010, resigned last Friday to pursue other opportunities. The company said it was looking for a permanent replacement.

Vera Bradley shares were trading at $25.40 after the bell. They closed at $23 on Tuesday on the Nasdaq.

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