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bebe stores announces Q3 earnings of $0.09 per share
02
May '08
bebe stores inc announced unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended April 5, 2008.

Net sales for the thirteen week period ended April 5, 2008 were $151.7 million versus $154.4 million reported for the fourteen week period ended April 7, 2007, which included approximately $10 million in sales due to the additional week in fiscal 2007.

Excluding sales from the additional week in fiscal 2007, sales increased 4.7% compared to the corresponding thirteen week period in the prior year. Same store sales for the thirteen week period ended April 5, 2008 decreased 7.6% compared to a decrease of 0.4% for the thirteen week period in the prior year.

Gross margin as a percentage of net sales decreased to 43.8% in the third quarter of fiscal 2008, compared to 45.3% in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. The decrease in gross margin as a percentage of net sales from the prior year of 1.5% was primarily due to unfavorable occupancy partially offset by higher merchandise margin. In addition, gross margin in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 included substantial raw material reserve reversals.

SG&A expenses for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 were $59.0 million, or 38.9% of net sales, compared to $54.1 million, or 35.1% 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, advertising expense and the recording of an impairment charge of $773,000 for three underperforming store locations.

Operating income for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $7.3 million or 4.9% of net sales, compared to $15.7 million or 10.2% of net sales for the same period of the prior year.

The effective tax rate for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 decreased to 33.6% from 35.9% in the third 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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