NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Bebe Stores Inc. fell Friday after the apparel retailer reported a disappointing first-quarter outlook and analysts lowered their estimates on the stock. Bebe on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter loss amid slumping sales, and gave first-quarter guidance of flat to a loss of 5 cents per share, below what analysts were expecting. Boenning & Scattergood analyst Holly Guthrie, who rates the company "Neutral," said operating results were slightly better in the fourth quarter, but said "Bebe's challenges continue as management guided for lower results for the September quarter." She cut her estimates to a profit of 3 cents from 9 cents per share for the quarter and said merchandise changes in time for the holiday season may help results, but said it was to early to tell given its recent track record. Meanwhile, Wedbush Morgan analyst Betty Chen wrote in a note to investors that Bebe's turnaround will likely be prolonged because of merchandise changes and a higher-than-expected inventory. She cut her first-quarter estimate to a loss of 2 cents from prior estimate of a profit of 5 cents per share and kept her "Underperform" on the stock. Shares fell 20 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $7.72 Friday. The stock has traded between $4.57 and $11.02 over the past year.
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