By  on November 2, 2007

Dress Barn Inc. lowered full-year guidance Thursday based on declining same-store sales estimates.

The women's apparel retailer expects full-year guidance for diluted earnings per share to be between $1.25 and $1.35, from its previous forecast of $1.40 to $1.50. It also lowered first-quarter diluted EPS expectations to the range of 30 cents to 32 cents because of a decline in same-store sales.

The specialty chain plans to release first-quarter sales and earnings results on Nov. 27.

Although the company's Maurices stores have posted solid sales, Dress Barn sales have been hampered by unseasonably warm weather in September and October, the company said in a statement.

"Our focus remains on controlling costs and balancing our Dress Barn stores' inventory," David R. Jaffe, president and chief executive officer, said in the statement. "The weaker-than-anticipated comparable-store sales and our need to bring our Dress Barn stores' inventory into line are expected to negatively impact both our first- and second-quarters' earnings. We remain optimistic for an improved business performance during the second half of our fiscal year."

Dress Barn shares were down 7.6 percent Thursday to close at $15.15 in New York Stock Exchange trading.

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