(Recasts, adds outlook, CEO and analysts’ comments)
BANGALORE, April 12 (Reuters) - 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 sales.
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)