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Bebe Issues 2nd Warning for 3rd

NEW YORK — Bebe Stores Inc. has issued its second profit warning for the just-concluded third quarter.<br><br>The Brisbane, Calif.-based specialty retailer of contemporary women’s apparel and accessories blamed the downwardly revised...

NEW YORK — Bebe Stores Inc. has issued its second profit warning for the just-concluded third quarter.

The Brisbane, Calif.-based specialty retailer of contemporary women’s apparel and accessories blamed the downwardly revised guidance, its second over the last two months, on $800,000 of charges related to “abandoned information technology projects” and another $800,000 for the write-off of obsolete inventory.

The company now anticipates earnings for the quarter ended in March to be in the range of breakeven to 2 cents a share, below the current consensus estimates of 4 cents.

This follows Bebe’s previous warning March 13 that it expects earnings to be in the range of 3 to 5 cents, far below year-ago earnings of 15 cents and consensus estimates at that time of 11 cents.

Also, on March 3, in announcing a February comparable-sales decline of 15.2 percent, Bebe said it anticipated its comps for the March quarter to be in the negative low- to mid-teens, from negative high-single digits. Its March comps fell 10.5 percent.

Bebe, which operates 177 stores, is expected to report its financial results on April 24.

The retailer in the last month has announced a number of new executive appointments. Ferrell Ostrow was named vice president of store operations after serving as the active supervisor of that area since February. Previously, he’d been vice president of loss prevention since March 1999.

Also, Paul Mashouf, a 13-year veteran of the firm founded by Manny Mashouf, his father, was promoted to vice president of sourcing. He’d been acting vice president of the area since December.

There has been a revolving door at Brisbane, Calif.-based Bebe for the better part of two years. John Parros stepped down as president last May after less than two years on the job, and Monah Li left the firm as head designer in December 2001 after a year with Bebe. Paul Mashouf’s appointment followed the departure of Jamel Bennoui, who left the firm after three months as vice president of manufacturing.