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bebe net sales up for year-to-date period ended Jan 5
04
Feb '08
bebe stores inc announced unaudited financial results for the second quarter ended January 5, 2008.

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 were $203.3 million, up 3.3% from $196.8 million reported for the second quarter a year ago. As previously reported, same store sales for the quarter ended January 5, 2008 decreased 7.9% compared to an increase of 5.5% in the prior year.

Gross margin as a percentage of net sales decreased to 46.2% in the second quarter of fiscal 2008, compared to 47.9% in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. The decrease in gross margin as a percentage of net sales from the prior year of 1.7% was primarily due to higher markdowns and unfavorable occupancy leverage partially offset by a reduction in raw material reserves.

SG&A expenses for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 were $62.8 million, or 30.9% of net sales, compared to $58.9 million, or 30.0% of net sales for the same period of the prior year.

The increase in SG&A expenses as a percent of sales is primarily due to higher total compensation expense as a result of timing differences associated with stock based compensation and the recording of a small provision for bonuses in the current year verses a reversal of the bonus accrual in the prior year partially offset by lower advertising.

Operating income for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 was $31.2 million or 15.3% of net sales, compared to $35.4 million or 17.9% of net sales for the same period of the prior year. Net earnings for the second quarter were $23.4 million compared to $24.3 million for the same period of the prior year. Diluted earnings per share for the second quarter were $0.26 versus $0.26 per share in the same period of fiscal 2007.

The effective tax rate for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 decreased to 33.8% from 35.9% in the second quarter of fiscal 2007 primarily due to an increase in tax free interest income as a percent of total pretax income and an increase in our allowable domestic manufacturing deduction during the current year.


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