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Specialty retailer Wet Seal announces Oct comparable store sales

Nov '06
The Wet Seal Inc, a leading specialty retailer to young women, reported comparable store sales increased 7.5 percent for the four-week period ended October 28, 2006, compared with an increase of 46.6 percent last year.

Net sales for the four-week period ended October 28, 2006 were $39.8 million, compared with net sales of $36.0 million in the same period last year, an increase of 10.7 percent.

Comparable store sales for the third fiscal quarter increased 7.3 percent on top of a 46.6 percent increase in the same period a year ago.

Net sales for the third quarter were $143.3 million compared with net sales of $129.3 million in the same period last year, a 10.8 percent increase.

During the month, the Company opened 6 Wet Seal stores and closed 1 Arden B store. At October 28, 2006, there were 326 Wet Seal stores and 90 Arden B stores.

For the third quarter, the Company expects it will have operating income before the effect of non-cash stock compensation at, or slightly below, $6.8 million, which was the lower end of its prior guidance.

The Company expects that, for November, it will have a comparable store sales increase in the low to mid single digits.

The Company's operating income and net income under generally accepted accounting principles are impacted such that increases in its stock price cause increases in non-cash stock compensation expense.

Given the closing common stock price at the end of October, the third quarter charge for non-cash stock compensation will be $5.6 million vs. the $1.9 million included in the Company's prior guidance given on August 18, 2006.

The Company plans to report operating results for the third quarter ended October 28, 2006 before the market opens on Thursday, November 16, 2006, followed by a conference call at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The Wet Seal Inc

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