SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ¿ Shares of clothing retailer Bebe Stores Inc. tumbled 8 percent Friday, after it posted a quarterly loss on sharply lower sales.

Bebe lost $4.2 million, or 5 cents per share, in the fiscal first quarter, compared with a profit of $11.2 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 23 percent to $125.7 million as sales at stores open at least a year plunged 25.7 percent.

Shares of Bebe, based in Brisbane, Calif., fell 54 cents to $5.99 in early afternoon trading.

Boenning & Scattergood analyst Holly Guthrie said operating results were worse than it appeared since the profit was boosted by a lower tax rate.

Guthrie added that Bebe issued disappointing guidance for the fourth quarter, with per-share profit expected to range from break even to 5 cents per share. Guthrie lowered the firm's estimate to 2 cents per share from 6 cents and kept a "Neutral" rating on the shares.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect 4 cents per share in profit in the fourth quarter, on average.

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