A LOWER GUESS: Guess Inc. Wednesday warned that its third-quarter earnings would likely come in below analysts’ forecasts and last year’s levels. The Los Angeles-based firm said that it expects diluted earnings per share for the quarter ended Sept. 28 to fall in the range of 6 cents to 8 cents, including a 5-cents-per-share gain related to resolution of a lawsuit. Excluding that gain, the company said, earnings would be around 1 to 2 cents a share, which is below the 7-cents-per-share Thomson Financial/First Call consensus. Analysts typically factor one-time items like the 5 cent gain out of their forecasts. The company also noted that sales for the quarter were off 0.6 percent, to $94.9 million, with comparable-store sales down 5.4 percent. Guess also noted that it obtained a new $85 million asset-backed credit line from Wachovia Securities.

ACCOUNTING FOR SEARS: In consultation with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sears, Roebuck & Co. modified a previous change in accounting principle, making it instead a change in estimate. The switch to a change in estimate from accounting principle will increase Sears’ first-quarter profits by $191 million, or 59 cents per share, and reduce second-quarter net income by the same amount. The retailer, when releasing second-quarter results in July, had retroactively applied an aftertax charge of $191 million related to uncollectible accounts in the credit business to the first quarter.

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