The Reasons For The Wet Seal's (WTSL) Double-Digit Losses

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Another day, another retailer crushed in a sell-off. After Express  (EXPR) fell 22% on Wednesday, Thursday's target was The Wet Seal (WTSL), which plummeted 14.1% to $2.74 by market close.

The apparel retailer, which reported after the bell Wednesday, posted net sales of $127.7 million, nearly 6% lower than a year earlier and missing Thomson Reuters' consensus by $6.8 million. Net loss of 12 cents a share was as expected.

Comparable-store sales were up 0.8%, which included a 1.7% increase at Wet Seal-branded stores and a 6.7% drop at Arden B.

The Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based business didn't forecast positive earnings over the holiday season. For the fourth-quarter ending January, management expects a net loss between 14 cents and 17 cents a share, much worse than a one-cent profit consensus.

Total sales are expected in the range of $134 million to $137 million. At the top end of guidance, the forecast is 15% lower than a year earlier and $13.2 million less than analysts had hoped for. The company explains the drop as a result of a 13-week quarter, one week less than in 2012. Comparable-store sales are anticipated to drop in the high-single to low-double digits.

"We've had a challenging start to the season, reflecting the difficult macro environment and ongoing softness in mall traffic, which is causing us to maintain a cautious outlook for the remainder of the year," said CEO John Goodman in a statement.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

Also see: The 10 Drunkest States in America... and the 10 Most Sober.

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