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Wet Seal Loss Narrows

Second-quarter sales rise 19.5%.
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Wet Seal


said second-quarter sales rose 19.5% from a year ago, and the company's loss narrowed considerably from last year.

The clothing seller had a loss of $35 million, or 87 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with a loss of $106.3 million, or $3.31 a share, a year ago. Net sales rose to $126.3 million from $105.7 million.

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Sales increased despite a significant reduction in the number of stores the company operates. Same-store sales from continuing operations jumped 55.9% from the year-ago second quarter. As of July 30, the company operated 305 Wet Seal stores and 91 Arden B. stores.

Wet Seal didn't provide any guidance for its third- and fourth-quarter operating results, but the company estimates recording noncash charges of around $12 million for the remainder of the fiscal year associated with stock grants.

Shares of Wet Seal closed Friday at $5.31.