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May Department Stores


posted a loss in the second quarter after factoring in costs related to store closings, reversing the profit from the year-ago period.

The retailer, which operates Lord & Taylor and Hecht's stores, lost $110 million, or 39 cents a share, down from a profit of $69 million, or 22 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

The loss included a charge of $318 million, or 69 cents a share, for asset impairments and expenses associated with the divestiture of 34 stores. Excluding these costs, the company would've earned $92 million, or 30 cents a share.

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On that basis, analysts had forecast a profit of 27 cents a share.

May reported a 1% decline in second-quarter revenue to $3 billion, compared with $3.03 billion in 2002. Same-store sales fell 3.1%.

The company also said the store closings, when completed, will result in savings of about $50 million, or 10 cents a share, each year.

Shares of May were down 22 cents, or 0.8%, at $25.96 in afternoon trading on the

New York Stock Exchange