Updated from 4:46 p.m. EDT
Rebellious teens continued to spurn
( HOTT) stores in its first quarter. The mall-based alternative-apparel chain posted a loss for the period Wednesday as sales continued to decline.
The company reported a loss of $1.4 million, or 3 cents a share for the quarter, reversing the year-earlier profit of $5 million, or 11 cents a share. The latest quarter's results included 2 cents a share in stock-options expense.
Despite the loss, Hot Topic met Wall Street's low expectations. The company, having been consistently out of favor with its finicky customer base, had already reported a 9.6% drop in same-store sales for the period. That marks the company's 13th-straight quarter without a rise in same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year.
Hot Topic's total sales rose 3% to $154 million from last year's $149.8 million.
On a conference call with analysts, Hot Topic CEO Elizabeth McLaughlin said, "Looking back on this past quarter, I'm disappointed that we weren't able to make more progress in turning our business around."
McLaughlin said weakness in sales of men's fashions is the biggest factor in the company's malaise, as men's apparel same-store sales dropped 24% for the quarter. However, she said men were still coming to the company's stores.
"Men are still the primary buyers of music in our stores," she said. "We believe that once we have the product mix fixed on the fashion side, our results will improve."
The company operates l,671 Hot Topic stores and 123 Torrid stores.
Shares of Hot Topic recently added 10 cents, or 0.7%, to $14.14 in after-hours trading. They closed down 33 cents, or 2.3%, to $14.04 in the regular trading session ahead of the earnings release.