BRISBANE, Calif. (AP) ¿ Apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc. on Thursday reported a fiscal-fourth quarter loss, as sales slumped and the company marked down goods to lower inventory, but adjusted results beat analyst expectations. Losses for the quarter ended July 4 totaled $323,000, or break-even per share, compared with a profit of $16 million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding 4 cents per share in employee acquisition and termination costs, asset write-downs and write-offs, net income was 4 cents per share. Revenue fell 24 percent to $130.2 million from $171.5 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, predicted a profit of a penny per share on revenue of $129.4 million. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time items. Sales in stores open at least one year, a key retail metric known as same-store sales, fell 29.6 percent during the quarter. However, the company cut costs, and selling, general and administrative expenses fell 4 percent to $55.9 million. Retailers have been cutting costs and lowering inventory in an effort to improve profitability amid languishing sales as consumers cut back.
For the year, net income plunged 80 percent to $12.6 million, or 14 cents per share, from $63.1 million, or 69 cents per share, last year. Revenue fell 12 percent to $603 million from $687.6 million last year. The Brisbane, Calif.-based company also gave first-quarter guidance below what analysts were expecting. Shares shed 39 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $7.53 during aftermarket trading, having finished the regular session at $7.92.