Hot Topic Cuts Guidance Again

The teen retailer names a new merchandiser.
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Hot Topic

(HOTT)

posted weak second-quarter numbers, slashed second-half guidance and named Maria Comfort chief merchandise officer of its struggling Hot Topic Division. Its shares dropped 15%.

Earnings for the quarter ended July 30 fell to $893,000, or 2 cents a share, from the year-ago $4.5 million, or 9 cents a share. Sales rose to $152 million from $136 million a year earlier. Same-store sales fell 3.5% for the quarter.

The company said same-store sales for the first two weeks of August fell 8% from a year ago, leading Hot Topic to slash guidance for the rest of the year. The company expects to make 15-18 cents for the third quarter and around 65 cents for the year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting a 27-cent profit for the quarter and 85 cents for the year.

The news comes just three weeks after the City of Industry, Calif., teen retailer slashed second-quarter earnings guidance, citing weak July sales across its business.

Comfort will be responsible for buying, merchandise planning, licensing, marketing and hottopic.com. Previously she was executive vice president of both retail and wholesale operations for Armani U.S., and most recently was executive vice president of Lillie Rubin.

Late Wednesday, Hot Topic fell $2.31 to $13.50.