A traditionally weak season for furniture sales has proven oppressive for La-Z-Boy ( LZB), which lowered earnings guidance Thursday. The chair purveyor expects to report a profit of 4 cents to 6 cents a share in the first quarter ending July 30, down from its previous estimate of 10 cents to 14 cents a share. The company lost 7 cents a share on a 12-cent charge in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting earnings of 11 cents a share on sales of $465.7 million in the quarter. "The weaker-than-anticipated retail environment during what is historically the industry's slowest season leads us to now expect year-over-year sales for the quarter to be essentially flat," the company said. On the bottom line, the shortfall reflects higher expenses and transition costs for 21 stores it acquired in the fourth quarter. "While we are implementing the necessary corrective actions, lower retail sales volumes are amplifying these short-term increases in expense," the company said.