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Originally published November 5, 2009 at 4:50 PM | Page modified November 6, 2009 at 10:22 AM

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Blue Nile profit beats by a penny; stock climbs

Internet jeweler Blue Nile posted a better-than-expected third-quarter profit Thursday, citing strong wedding-related sales and a growing international presence.

Seattle Times business reporter

Internet jeweler Blue Nile posted a better-than-expected third-quarter profit Thursday, citing strong wedding-related sales and a growing international presence.

The Seattle company made a quarterly profit of $2.6 million, or 17 cents a share, up from $2.3 million, or 15 cents, a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of 16 cents.

Blue Nile's third-quarter sales rose 2.4 percent to $66.9 million.

The online jeweler's results were released after the stock market closed. Its stock climbed $2.51, or 4.3 percent, to $61.23 in after-hours trading, after rising $2.13, or 3.8 percent, to $58.72 in the regular trading session.

The company raised its fourth-quarter guidance, saying "trends in the business during the third quarter improved sequentially."

Chief Executive Officer Diane Irvine said in a statement that Blue Nile is taking market share from other jewelers and is well-positioned for the upcoming holiday season.

The company now expects to have fourth-quarter sales of between $100 million and $109 million and a per-share profit of 35 cents to 39 cents.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com

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