JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Body Central Corp. said Thursday that its net income fell by 36 percent in the second quarter, as higher markdowns undercut profitability for the women's clothing and accessories retailer.
Management also lowered its earnings outlook for the second half of the year, citing July sales trends. Shares in the Jacksonville, Fla. company plunged more than 17 percent in aftermarket trading.
Body Central reported net income of $3.4 million, or 21 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30. That compares with net income of $5.3 million, or 33 cents per share, in the comparable period last year.
Revenue grew 6 percent to $79.4 million from $74.7 million a year earlier, fueled by a 16 percent increase in the number of open stores. During the quarter, Body Central closed one store, but opened 15.
The results beat analysts' consensus forecast, which called for earnings of 20 cents per share on revenue of $78.6 million, according to FactSet.
While revenue increased overall in the quarter, sales at stores open at least a year fell 7.6 percent. That's a closely watched measure of ongoing performance in retailing because it excludes the effect of new or closed stores, which can skew the comparison.
On the bright side, direct sales rose 9 percent to $11 million from $10.1 million.
However, Body Central's income from operations as a percentage of revenues dropped to 6.9 percent from 10.8 percent as the company increased markdowns.
"We believe that the shortfall in our retail business was due not only to our own missteps but also to the challenging retail environment," said Allen Weinstein, Body Central's president and chief executive.
The company expects third-quarter earnings per share between 2 cents to 4 cents, and revenue between $68 million to $70 million. Analysts had forecast earnings per share of 11 cents on $72.8 million in revenue.
Body Central's fiscal 2012 outlook also falls short of Wall Street's estimates.
The company anticipates earnings per share of 80 cents to 83 cents on revenue between $314 million and $317 million. Analysts, on average, were projecting full-year earnings per share of $1.04 on $321.3 million in revenue.
Body Central shares fell 63 cents, or 6.2 percent, to $9.59 during the regular trading session. The stock sank another $1.65, or 17.2 percent, to $7.94 in extended trading.