Liz Claiborne forecasts wider-than-expected loss

CHICAGO Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:18am EDT

A Liz Claiborne label is shown on a woman's blouse in Burbank, California May 13, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

A Liz Claiborne label is shown on a woman's blouse in Burbank, California May 13, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Women's apparel manufacturer and retailer Liz Claiborne Inc LIZ.N on Thursday projected a wider second-quarter loss than analysts forecast, and its shares plummeted 13 percent.

The owner of the Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Lucky brands said in a regulatory filing that it expects its loss in the second quarter to be wider than that of the first quarter, before one-time items. The company gave no reason why the loss would widen.

Liz Claiborne and other apparel companies have faced a tough climate in the recession as department stores and other chains trim inventory levels and shoppers cut back on nonessential purchases.

Last week, Liz Claiborne Chief Executive William McComb said the company was revamping operations to perform well in the "new normal" cautious environment.

Liz Claiborne reported a loss of 37 cents a share, excluding one-time items, in the first quarter. Analysts, on average, forecast a second-quarter loss of 33 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company said "there is still some uncertainty regarding the results for the quarter," which ends on July 4. It cautioned investors to take that uncertainty into account.

A spokeswoman said the second-quarter adjusted loss forecast was being driven by the impact of certain items and that the company would discuss details during its conference call in August.

Lower restructuring costs will lead the company's reported loss to be narrower than the first quarter, the company said, echoing a forecast it issued a month ago.

The company said it expected sales to be flat compared with the year-earlier quarter.

Liz Claiborne shares were down 50 cents to $3.52 in morning trading.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman and Jessica Wohl; Editing by Brian Moss)

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