By  on May 4, 2007

Bebe Stores Inc. posted third-quarter earnings Thursday that dropped 3 percent due to higher markdowns on early spring merchandise.

For the three months ended April 7, net income fell slightly, to $12.9 million, or 14 cents a diluted share, from $13.3 million, or 14 cents, in the year prior. Sales for the quarter rose 16.3 percent, to $154.4 million from $132.8 million, and total same-store sales fell 0.4 percent.

For the nine-month period, earnings climbed 11 percent, to $57.6 million, or 61 cents a diluted share, from $51.9 million, or 55 cents. Sales jumped 19 percent, to $508.2 million from $426.9 million last year.

The company expects fourth-quarter earnings in the range of 17 cents to 21 cents a share.

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