BRADLEES: WE'RE PLANNING TURNAROUND, NOT BANKRUPTCY
NEW YORK--Bradlees Inc., which last week suspended its dividend and said it expects a first quarter loss, said Friday it is not considering a bankruptcy filing. The statement came in response to a report by CNBC's Dan Dorfman that some Wall Street analysts see bankruptcy as a possibility for Bradlees, which operates 136 discount stores in the Northeast. "Contrary to irresponsible and inaccurate statements concerning its financial condition, Bradlees has not taken nor is it contemplating any financial action as alleged," Mark A. Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement. "Bradlees is a turnaround company in its first stage of transition." Earlier last week, the discounter said it expected to report a loss of $2.25 to $2.75 per share in the first quarter, or between $25.7 million and $31.4 million. Additionally, Bradlees suspended its 15-cent per share dividend and canceled new-store plans for 1996. Ed Johnson of Johnson Redbook Service, an analyst cited in the Dorfman report, told WWD, "He asked me whether there's a chance of [Bradlees] going bankrupt. I said, 'Every company has a chance of going bankrupt. Bradlees is little closer to it, but it all depends on whether the ceo turns it around."' Bradlees share price fell 7/8 Friday, to 5 1/8, on the New York Stock Exchange.
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