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(Removes reference to extra week in lede.)
Feb 26 (Reuters) - Saks Inc reported a lower fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, with sales during the holiday season hit by Hurricane Sandy.
Saks reported a profit of $20.4 million, or 13 cents per share, for the quarter ended Feb. 2, versus a year-earlier profit of $40 million, or 21 cents per share.
Excluding store closing expenses, asset impairment charges and other items, Saks had a profit of 17 cents per share. Wall Street analysts were expecting 15 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Saks, which operates 45 department stores and 63 discount outlet Saks Off Fifth stores, said sales at stores open at least a year rose 0.7 percent. Analysts were expecting a 0.3 percent decline. Total sales rose 5.6 percent to $976.6 million in the quarter, which had one more week than in the prior year.
Saks forecast same-store sales would rise 3 percent to 5 percent this fiscal year.
Reporting By Phil Wahba; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick