UPDATE 2-Tween Brands posts surprise Q4 loss, shares plummet
* Q4 adj loss $0.37/shr vs est. of EPS of $0.43
* Q4 net sales drop 16 pct to $265.9 mln; lags Street
* Says to eliminate 85 positions
* Says amends current credit facility
* Shares tank 49 percent
(Adds conference call details, updates share movement)
Feb 25 (Reuters) - Tween Brands Inc TWB.N posted a surprise quarterly loss as tightened consumer spending weighed on the sales of its premium-priced Limited Too brand, and the teen-apparel retailer said it would cut more jobs to reduce costs, sending its shares down 49 percent to their lifetime low.
The continued decline in the fourth quarter and the current expectations of a difficult spring forced Tween to make further jobcuts, a company executive said on a conference call to analysts.
The company, which had cut 150 positions last year, said it would eliminate an additional 85 positions, a move that would result in pretax savings of about $7 million in 2009.
The largest number of headcount change was in merchandise design, planning and allocation, the company said.
Tween, which plans to close 30 to 40 stores this year from its total of 914 stores, said it will not provide any outlook for 2009 due to the continued economic downturn.
"The fourth quarter and full year of 2008 were the most difficult in our company's history as our customer base faced formidable financial pressures," Chief Executive Michael Rayden said in a statement.
For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, the company posted a loss of $13.9 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with earnings of $25 million, or $1 per share, a year earlier.
Limited Too total sales slumped 27 percent to $161 million. Same-store sales fell 23 pct in the quarter.
Tween Brands, which caters to girls in the 7-to-14 age group, also said it amended its credit facility and the facility will be secured by assets of the company.
Shares of the New Albany, Ohio-based retailer were trading down $1.19 at $1.55 Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. They had earlier touched a low of $1.41.
For related alerts, double-click [ID:nWNAB6654] (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan, Jarshad Kakkrakandy)
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