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Francesca's Holdings fires CFO, boosts 1Q guidance

Monday - 5/14/2012, 11:17am  ET

HOUSTON (AP) - Francesca's Holdings Corp. said Monday that it fired its chief financial officer, saying that he improperly communicated company information through social media.

But the women's clothing retailer also raised its fiscal first-quarter earnings estimate, citing better than expected sales.

Its shares rose more than 3 percent in morning trading.'

The Houston-based company said it terminated Gene Morphis' employment after an investigation by its board that was launched after the company discovered the activity late last week.

Francesca's didn't say in a news release what specific kind of company information Morphis improperly released, or through what form of social media he released it. A company spokeswoman didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Morphis could not be reached for comment.

A search has begun for a new chief financial officer. In the meantime, Cynthia Thomassee, the company's controller and vice president of accounting, will fill the job on an interim basis, Francesca's said.

The company also said that it expects its revenue at stores open at least a year for the quarter ended April 28 to be better than previously expected. As a result, it now expects to post a profit for the quarter of 17 cents or 18 cents per share, up from its previous prediction of 14 cents or 15 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect a profit of 15 cents per share for the quarter.

Its shares rose 83 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $24.85 in morning trading. They are still down 27 percent from a 52-week high of $33.93 in late March.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)