Select Comfort Nightmare

Shares plunge after a shortfall.
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Select Comfort (SCSS) fell out of bed Thursday after the mattress maker slashed full-year earnings guidance.

The Minneapolis-based company expects to make 80 to 87 cents a share for the year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 96-cent profit.

Select Comfort said it expects fourth-quarter sales and same-store sales growth to be below the low end of its long-term growth targets.

"This quarter's sales have been disappointing, as we've noted a closer correlation in our business with housing industry trends," said CEO Bill McLaughlin. "Our sales programs and promotional offers have been consistent with prior years, and we are protecting product margins.

"We have moved quickly to revamp our December sales and marketing programs to drive traffic, increase referrals from our existing bed owners and enhance consumer interest through financing and other purchase incentives," he added.

Select Comfort said it remains committed to continuing its share repurchase program. Select Comfort has spent $15.6 million in the fourth quarter to repurchase 748,000 shares. Of the $150 million board authorization announced in May 2006, $103 million remains available for additional share repurchases.

Shares fell $3.88 to $17.11.