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Specialty retailer



narrowed its first-quarter loss Wednesday, matching analysts' consensus, as sales jumped 27%.

But shares of the company were dropping after Brookstone maintained its full-year earnings guidance that is short of Wall Street's consensus estimate.

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The company lost $4.6 million, or 23 cents a share, in the quarter ended May 1, compared with $6.4 million, or 33 cents a share, in the prior-year period.

Sales rose to $77.5 million from $61 million a year ago, while same-store sales in the period jumped 20.1%. The company said its airport locations posted same-store sales above the company average.

In the second quarter, the company expects to lose 4 cents to 6 cents a share, which would compare with a loss of 12 cents a share in the year-ago period. Analysts are calling for a loss of 8 cents a share.

For the full year, the company reaffirmed its earnings expectation for $1.07 a share to $1.10 a share. The estimate, however, is below the consensus for $1.13 a share. The company earned 87 cents a share in 2003.

Shares of Nashua, N.H.-based Brookstone were recently falling 47 cents, or 2.5%, at $18.15.