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What: Shares of Bebe Stores, (NASDAQ:BEBE) were looking improved today, jumping as much as 20%, and finishing up 15% after beating estimates in its second-quarter report.
So what: The results weren't exactly pretty, but for the struggling women's clothing brand, it was enough to please the market. Bebe reported a per-share loss of $0.07, better than the $0.14-loss analysts expected, while revenue was also better than the experts' mark of $121.3 million, falling 4.1%, to $130 million. Same-store sales were down, as well, dropping 1.9%, but that was an improvement from a 2.8% decline in the first quarter. The results were considered especially favorable, as many retailers have dialed down holiday-quarter estimates on complaints of heavy promotional activity.
Now what: Commenting on the quarter, CEO Steve Birkhold said, "We are encouraged by the sequential improvement we experienced in the second quarter," and noted that the company saw positive comps in the crucial December month with increasing traffic, despite an overall decline in mall traffic. Guidance for the current quarter was also promising as management sees flat same-store sales and a net loss-per share in the teens, in line with expectations of -$0.15. While the expected loss is evidence that the company hasn't yet turned the corner, Bebe is certainly moving in the right direction. Don't be surprised to see it beat estimates in upcoming quarters, as well.