YOUNKERS EXPECTS 3RD QUARTER DIP

DES MOINES--Younkers Inc. said it expects earnings in the third fiscal quarter to fall 50 to 60 percent below analyst estimates due to poor apparel sales.
Analysts had been expecting the company to earn 50 to 60 cents a share, against 50 cents a year earlier, the company said. With the forecast, earnings will drop 50 to 60 percent to about 25 to 30 cents a share, against 50 cents earned in the 1993 quarter.
The company said soft apparel sales stemmed from unseasonably warm weather in the upper Midwest. Gross margins are expected to be hurt not only by lower-than-expected sales but by heavier low-margin business.
Same-store sales sank 2.1 percent in the first two months of the third quarter to $98.2 million from $100.3 million. Sales in the first three weeks of October, including the recently completed anniversary sale, were "significantly below prior-year results."
Younkers operates 53 department stores in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The release came after the close of the market Friday. Younkers stock closed at 15, down 3/4 in over-the-counter trading.
--Fairchild News Service

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