August 27, 2008 / 12:28 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Talbots posts wider quarterly net loss

(Adds details on earnings, forecast, NEW YORK to dateline)

NEW YORK, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Women’s clothing retailer Talbots Inc TLB.N posted a wider quarterly loss on Wednesday, hurt by aggressive markdowns at J. Jill stores, but affirmed its full-year earnings forecast from continuing operations.

The retailer of traditional fashions for women reported a net loss of $25.0 million, or 47 cents per share, compared to a loss of $13.3 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier.

Talbots, which is majority-owned by Japan’s Aeon Co Ltd (8267.T), said its loss from ongoing core operations was 34 cents per share, in line with analysts’ average estimate, according to Reuters Estimates.

    Total sales for the quarter, which ended on Aug. 2, fell 7.7 percent to $528.0 million. Same-store sales fell 12 percent.

    The company said it was planning for same-store sales for the fall season to range from flat to down slightly from last year, with Talbots sales about flat and J. Jill sales down at a low to mid-single-digit rate.

    Talbots reaffirmed its outlook for full-year earnings from ongoing operations, which excludes results and costs associated with its Talbots Kids, Mens and British businesses, which it is closing. Its outlook calls for 2008 earnings of 47 cents to 52 cents per share, excluding items.

    On a net basis, however, it said it expects earnings of 15 cents to 25 cents per share, up from its prior expectation for a net loss of 7 cents to 17 cents per share. (Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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