Apparel retailer Hot Topic's loss narrows

Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:59pm EDT

(Reuters) - Teen apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc's HOTT.O quarterly loss narrowed as improved merchandise drove sales.

The mall-and-web-based retailer has been cutting costs and overhauling its stores and merchandise to appeal to older teens.

Second-quarter loss narrowed to $0.8 million, or 2 cents per share, from $6.2 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 2 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue at the company, which sells music and movie-related merchandise, rose 5 percent to $157.8 million, slightly below Wall Street's average estimate of $159.3 million.

Hot Topic, which runs 620 stores under its namesake banner as well as 171 Torrid stores, said comparable sales rose 4 percent during the quarter.

The City of Industry, California-based company's shares, which have risen about 49 percent this year, were up 1 percent after the bell. They closed at $9.70 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Chris Jonathan Peters and Ranjita Ganesan in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)