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Hampshire Loss Widens in Second Quarter

Stock again up in wake of settlement with former CEO.

Hampshire Group Ltd.’s second-quarter loss more than doubled on
flat sales.

This story first appeared in the August 7, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Despite the decline in its bottom line, shares of Hampshire rose $1.30, or 16.9 percent, to close at $9 on Wednesday. It was the second consecutive day of double-digit percentage increases for the stock after Monday’s disclosure that Hampshire and former chief executive officer Ludwig Kuttner had settled a dispute resulting from an audit committee investigation into Kuttner’s business expenses and alleged mismanagement and tax evasion. He dropped a wrongful dismissal lawsuit and Hampshire withdrew its lawsuit against Kuttner.

For the three months ended June 28, the Anderson, S.C.-based sweater and sportswear marketer reported a second-quarter net loss of $5 million, or 64 cents a diluted share, versus a loss of $2.2 million, or 29 cents, in the same period last year. Excluding results from the Shane Hunter subsidiary, which has been divested, the loss from continuing operations was $3.1 million, or 40 cents, against a loss of $1.4 million, or 11 cents.

Sales rose 0.6 percent to $32.9 million from $32.7 million as higher average selling prices offset a decline in unit volume.

For the six-month period, the company reported a net loss of $8.8 million, or $1.12 a share, a 46.6 percent increase from a loss of $6 million, or 77 cents a diluted share, for the first half of 2007.

Sales for the six-month period fell 0.8 percent to $72.6 million from $73.2 million.