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Wet Seal summer offering shines in Q3

Nov '06
The Wet Seal Inc, a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced results for its third fiscal quarter ended October 28, 2006 and provided guidance for its fourth fiscal quarter.

Financial Results
Net income for the quarter was $2.4 million, or $0.02 per diluted share. This includes a non-cash stock compensation charge of $5.6 million and a non-cash interest charge of $0.1 million associated with the conversion of Notes.

Before the effect of these items, net income was $8.1 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, and operating income was $7.6 million, or 5.3 percent of net sales.

These results compare favorably to the Company's most recent guidance indicating operating income before the effect of non-cash stock compensation of approximately $6.8 million.

These results compare to a prior year third quarter net loss of $6.5 million and operating income of $0.3 million. In the third quarter last year, the Company incurred non-cash stock compensation charges of $2.5 million and a non-cash interest charge of $5.7 million associated with the conversion of Notes.

Before the effect of these items, net income was $1.7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, and operating income was $2.8 million, or 2.1 percent of net sales.

Net sales for the thirteen week period ended October 28, 2006 were $143.3 million compared with net sales of $129.3 million for the same period last year, a 10.8 percent increase. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 7.3 percent on top of a 46.6 percent increase last year.

Mr. Joel Waller, chief executive officer, commented, “I am pleased with the results we achieved for both brands. At Wet Seal, our summer offering was powerful and was followed by a fall selling season that is exceeding our expectations. At Arden B, new collections provided strength in sales that we have not seen in this business for some time. Thus far, we are pleased with our business in November and we expect a good holiday selling season.

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