UPDATE 2-Zale puts off Q4 reporting date; shares fall

Wed Sep 2, 2009 12:07pm EDT

Related Topics

* Zale postpones quarterly results release to Sept. 9

* Says non-cash adjustments identified for prior periods

* Shares fall 11 percent (Recasts with share movement, adds details, dateline)

SEATTLE, Sept 2 (Reuters) - U.S. jeweler Zale Corp (ZLC.N) postponed the release of its quarterly results on Wednesday, saying it had found certain non-cash adjustments affecting prior period results, and its shares fell 11 percent.

Zale, which caters to middle-income shoppers, said the adjustments were about $13 million pretax, of which about $6.3 million relates to years prior to fiscal 2000.

The company said it is finalizing appropriate accounting methods for these adjustments and will now report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Sept. 9. It had originally planned to do so on Wednesday.

Affordably priced jewelers like Zale and even higher-end ones like Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) have grappled with weak sales in the recession, where consumers have largely refrained from buying expensive and unnecessary items.

Zale has closed stores and liquidated some inventory to offset its troubles. In August, Zale said it would take a $50 million pretax charge in the fourth quarter that ended July 31, tied to store closures.

The Dallas-based company has said its steps to clear out inventory through discounts would lead to a tough same-store sales comparison through September.

Zale's shares were down 65 cents to $5.25 in noon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman in Seattle and Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Tim Dobbyn)

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