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Wet Seal to enhance store productivity at Arden B

30
May '08
The Wet Seal Inc, a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced results for its fiscal first quarter ended May 3, 2008, and introduced guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

For the first quarter:
• Net sales for the 13-week period ended May 3, 2008, were $142.4 million compared to net sales of $138.0 million for the 13-week period ended May 5, 2007.
• Consolidated comparable store sales decreased 7.5%. Comparable store sales for Wet Seal decreased 3.3% and for Arden B decreased 21.6%.
• Operating income was $8.7 million, or 6.1% of net sales, compared to $6.6 million, or 4.8% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2007.
• Current year first quarter stock compensation expense includes a benefit of approximately $0.9 million primarily due to higher than previously estimated forfeitures of unvested stock awards resulting from recent executive departures from the Company.
• The current year first quarter included new store pre-opening expenses $0.1 million versus $1.0 million in the prior year first quarter.
• Net income was $8.9 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $7.6 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, in the prior year first quarter.
• The first quarter earnings per diluted share of $0.09 exceeded the Company's previously announced guidance for the quarter of between $0.07 and $0.08 per diluted share.

Ed Thomas, chief executive officer, commented, "We were pleased with the progress we made during the first quarter to increase store level efficiencies and lower costs, which led to better than expected results despite the difficult macro environment."


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