WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Hanesbrands ( HBI) saw its second-quarter earnings nearly halved as shoppers continue to keep their wallets shut tight -- and, presumably, to keep their old underwear around as long as they can.

The maker of Hanes, Champion and Playtex earned $30.6 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with $57.3 million, or 60 cents, in the year-ago period.

Excluding restructuring charges and other items, the company earned 42 cents a share, beating analysts' expectations of 40 cents.

Sales dropped 8% to $986 million from $1.07 billion.

During the quarter, the company reined in expenses by cutting jobs and tightening inventory controls.

Rival Maidenform Brands ( MFB) is set to report its second-quarter earnings on Aug. 12.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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