Payless Loss Narrows

Restructuring charges are less.
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Footwear retailer

Payless ShoeSource

(PSS)

said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed, as company incurred lesser restructuring charges in comparison with previous year.

The company lost $5.6 million, or 8 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $26.5 million, or 39 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding the effect of a change in accounting principle, loss was 2 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting the company to post a loss of 2 cents a share.

Earnings in the quarter also included a pretax restructuring charge of $1.9 million, or 2 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose marginally from a year ago to $611.3 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $608.7 million. Same-store sales increased 2.3% in the quarter.

The company estimates February sales at $179 million, compared with year-ago sales from continuing operations of $182.5 million. Same-store sales during the month were down 1.7%.

For fiscal 2006, the company expects to post low single-digit positive same-store sales on a consistent basis.

"We are pleased with our fiscal 2005 results," the company said. "Our strategy will include additional improvements to our product; the development of a comprehensive brand portfolio; and an integrated marketing plan that delivers an inspiring, clear and consistent message at all customer touch points, supported by a compelling in-store experience."

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