Why The Wet Seal (WTSL) Is Down Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Wet Seal (WTSL) is tumbling on Friday after reporting below-consensus sales after the bell a day earlier.

By early afternoon, shares had plummeted 14.9% to $1.49.

Trading volume of 3 million was more than triple its three-month daily average.

For its fourth quarter ended January, the teen apparel retailer recorded sales 22.8% lower year over year to $124.8 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast revenue of $134.74 million.

Consolidated comparable-store sales sank 16.5%, which included a 15.4% drop at namesake stores and 25% decrease at Arden B.

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Quarterly net losses of 23 cents a share was a penny narrower than analysts had expected.

For the first quarter ending April, management said it expects a net loss in the range of 16 cents to 19 cents a share, far wider than analysts' estimates of a loss of 5 cents a share. Guidance is based on anticipated comparable-store sales in the negative mid- to high-teens.

"Our first quarter outlook primarily reflects continuing softness in mall traffic and ongoing promotional pressure, as well as significant weather challenges, and we will continue to manage inventory appropriately," said CEO John Goodman in a statement.

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