Zale 4Q Loss Widens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Jewelry company Zale Corp. reported Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened, weighed down by increased inventory charges and absent a one-time gain recorded a year ago.

    Its shares fell more than 7 percent in premarket trading.

    Zale reported a net loss of $32.6 million, or $1.02 per share, for the three months ended July 31. A year earlier it lost $28.5 million, or 89 cents per share. Last-in, first-out inventory charges climbed to $7.9 million from $2.9 million.

    Revenue increased 9 percent to $377.3 million from $345 million a year ago.

    Revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 9.8 percent. This metric is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

    Analysts polled by FactSet expected a bigger loss of $1.15 per share on lower revenue of $360.4 million.

    But its shares fell 35 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $4.40 in trading before the market opened.

    For the year, Zale lost $112.3 million, or $3.50 per share, versus a loss of $93.7 million, or $2.92 per share, in the previous year. Annual revenue rose 8 percent to $1.75 billion from $1.62 billion.

    Zale has 1,830 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. On Tuesday the company announced that it is teaming up with Jessica Simpson on an exclusive collection of diamond fashion jewelry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.