By  on June 1, 2012

Persistent promotional pressures depressed Charming Shoppes Inc.’s first-quarter profits despite stabilizing sales trends.

In what is likely to be the final quarterly earnings report before its anticipated mid-June acquisition by Ascena Retail Group Inc., the Bensalem, Pa.-based operator of Lane Bryant plus-size stores generated net income of $17.8 million, or 15 cents a diluted share, 31.7 percent below the $26 million, or 22 cents, realized in the first quarter of 2011. Adjusting for nonrecurring items in the quarters for both years, EPS was 16 cents, 2 cents below the analyst consensus estimate of 18 cents, compared to 18 cents in the year-ago period.

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