(Recasts, adds outlook, CEO and analysts' comments)
BANGALORE, April 12 Women's apparel retailer
Bebe Stores Inc. (BEBE.O) posted a marginal 0.1 percent rise in
March same-store sales and said its quarterly earnings may be
under the low end of a prior forecast on weaker-than-expected
Because of sales being below the trendy apparel retailer's
expectations, "we currently anticipate earnings per share at or
below the low end of the range of $0.13 to $0.16 that we
previously provided," Chief Executive Officer Greg Scott said
in a statement.
Analysts on average expected the company to earn 14 cents a
share, before exceptional items, for the third quarter,
according to Reuters Estimates.
"Same-store sales for the quarter decreased 0.4 percent and
they had been expecting a positive low single digit increase,"
Roth Capital analyst Jennifer Davis said by phone to Reuters.
"There's been a couple fashion mistakes they have made ...
some of their early interpretations for spring, on color and
silhouette, we believe, were not in synch with core brand
attributes," Roth Capital analyst Elizabeth Pierce added.
The company reported same-store sales rise of 0.1 percent
while Wall Street, on average, had expected an increase of 2.2
percent in March.
The Brisbane, California-based company reported total sales
of $60.6 million in the five-week period ended April 7, an
increase of 8.6 percent over sales reported last year.
Total sales year-to-date rose almost 19 percent to $504.5
million, while same-store sales for the period increased 5.9
percent compared with an increase of 7.1 percent last year, the
mall-based retailer added.
(Reporting by Aditi Samajpati in Bangalore)