May 7, 2009
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Bebe posts Q3 loss on higher expenses

May 7, 2009

May 7 (Reuters) - Bebe Stores Inc (BEBE.O) swung to a third-quarter loss as expenses rose, but the Mall-based women's apparel retailer said it expects to post a profit in the current quarter.

Bebe Stores "Black & White Ball"

The company expects fourth-quarter earnings of 2 cents to 10 cents a share, but said it sees same-store sales in the range of negative mid-teens to low twenties.

Analysts are expecting earnings of 3 cents a share, before items, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the third quarter, it reported a loss of $5.0 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a profit of $8.3 million, or 9 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding an impairment charge of 2 cents a share, the loss was 4 cents a share.

Net sales fell 16 percent to $127.7 million, while same-store sales fell 23.5 percent in the quarter.

Gross margin fell to 37.8 percent in the latest quarter from 43.8 percent in the year-ago period.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 8 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $124.9 million.

Shares of Brisbane, California-based company closed at $8.27 Thursday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Poojya Trivedi in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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