Bebe Stores Q4 Loss in Line with Estimates

bebeBrisbane, CA—Bebe Stores ended its fiscal 2013 year with a loss in line with estimates and was “encouraged” by advances in its turnaround plans.

For the year ended July 6, the women’s specialty retailer posted Thursday a fourth quarter net loss of $20.8 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with net income of $3 million, or 4 cents per share, last year. Excluding one-time expenses, adjusted loss was 14 cents a share, which met analysts’ average estimates.

Net sales declined 9.4% to $119.2 million, ahead of analysts’ estimate for $118.8 million in sales. Comparable store sales were down 7.1% on top of a 2.5% decrease a year ago.

‘Optimistic About our Turnaround’

Gross margin narrowed to 30.6% compared to 40.2% in the fourth quarter 2012. The decrease in gross margin was primarily due to the increase in markdowns coupled with unfavorable occupancy leverage, the company said.

For its first quarter outlook, Bebe forecast comp sales growth “in the negative low to mid-single digit range” and “net loss per share in the range of low to mid-teens per share.”

“Despite the tough market environment and transitional changes I am encouraged by the progress that we are making in our top three transitional strategic focuses, namely products, marketing and our omnichannel initiatives,” said Steve Birkhold, chief executive.

“So as we look ahead to fiscal year 2014 we will continue to focus on our three key transitional strategies. While the macroeconomic environment remains uncertain and the mid-steps from the past are now fully behind us we are very optimistic about our turnaround in the near future.”

 

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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com