CLAIRE’S STOCK FALLS 10.5%

NEW YORK — Shares of Claire’s Stores Inc. tumbled 10.5 percent on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday after the accessories retailer warned that third-quarter earnings would be below Wall Street expectations due to merchandising problems.
The stock fell 1 7/8 to 15 15/16.
Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn 31 cents a share in the quarter ending Oct. 30. Last year, Claire’s earned 21 cents a share.
“Sales for the company are currently running below expectations due to merchandising errors which resulted in inventory shortages,” Claire’s said in a statement Wednesday. “New merchandise is flowing into the stores and will reach appropriate levels by the middle of October.”
The company said it would give more specific earnings guidance for the third and fourth quarters when September same-store sales were reported on Oct. 7. Officials did not return phone calls Wednesday.
Claire’s operates about 2,200 stores in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Japan and Europe.

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