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Originally published Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 3:37 PM

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Bebe Stores posts loss for 1Q as sales plummet

Clothing retailer Bebe Stores Inc. said it posted a loss for its fiscal first quarter as its sales plummeted.

The Associated Press

BRISBANE, Calif. —

Clothing retailer Bebe Stores Inc. said it posted a loss for its fiscal first quarter as its sales plummeted.

In the three months that ended Oct. 3, Bebe lost $4.2 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with a profit of $11.2 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier, the company reported Thursday.

Revenue fell 23 percent, to $125.7 million from $163.3 million.

Sales dropped 25.7 percent at stores that had been open at least one year, which is considered a key gauge of a retailer's financial health.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were, on average, expecting the company to post a loss of 2 cents per share and revenue of $125.7 million.

Bebe predicts that in the current quarter it will report results between breaking even and a profit of 5 cents per share, depending on how much its merchandise is discounted. It said sales at older stores will be better than in the first quarter.

Analysts expect the company to post a profit of 4 cents per share.

Bebe shares were unchanged at $6.53 in after-hours trading. The had risen 17 cents, or 2.7 percent, during the regular session.

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