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WWD Stock Index Slips

NEW YORK — The <B>WWD Composite Stock Index</B> slipped during the holiday shortened week to close at 1,085.20, down 0.2 percent from 1,087.17 a week ago, as several retailers with sites in Florida warned about the negative impact of Hurricane...

NEW YORK — The WWD Composite Stock Index slipped during the holiday shortened week to close at 1,085.20, down 0.2 percent from 1,087.17 a week ago, as several retailers with sites in Florida warned about the negative impact of Hurricane Frances.

Among the broader indices, the S&P 500 ended the week up 0.9 percent to 1,123.92 from 1,113.67 last week.

Federated Department Stores said on Tuesday that Frances reduced sales by $20 million, and may lower September same-store sales by 1.5 percent. The company, which closed 57 stores in Florida over the Labor Day weekend, said third-quarter earnings per share would be 3-to-4 cents lower than previous guidance.

Federated shares closed the week down 0.7 percent to $44.97 from $45.28 last week, while shares of Wal-Mart ended the week up 0.4 percent to $53.45 from $53.25. Wal-Mart said on Tuesday that stores in the path of Frances likely had reduced sales, but that purchases of hurricane-related supplies would offset the decline.

Specialty chain Chico’s FAS, which closed 60 stores because of the storm, said on Wednesday that comps in the first 10 days of September were down 2 percent and that the hurricane will cause aggregate September comps to be reduced by 1.5-to-2.5 percent. Shares of the company dropped 6.6 percent in the week to close at $36.09 from $38.63 a week ago.

Shares of Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. lost 24.5 percent to close the week at $11.12 from $14.73 last Friday. The company said on Thursday that earnings per share in the current quarter were anticipated at 11-to-13 cents, down from a previous forecast of 28 cents to 32 cents. It cited weak back-to-school sales and a harder-than-expected repositioning of its Rampage chain.

— Meredith Derby

This story first appeared in the September 13, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.