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Bebe's posts 2Q loss on heavy discounting

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bebe Stores Inc. swung to a loss in its fiscal second quarter from a profit a year ago, as the teen fashion retailer was forced to discount its goods more than expected during the critical holiday shopping season.

The company, based in Brisbane, Calif., also offered a profit outlook for the current quarter that was below analysts' expectations. The company's stock fell more than 4 percent in after-hours trading after the results were released.

Bebe said it lost $4.8 million, or 6 cents per share, for the three months that ended Dec. 29, according to preliminary results. That compares with a profit of $6.5 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net sales fell 11 percent to $135.5 million. Revenue at stores open at least a year dropped 10.5 percent.

Analysts had expected a loss of 1 cent per share on sales of $133.4 million.

For the current quarter, Bebe expects revenue at stores open at least a year fall by a mid-single-digit percentage. It also expects a net loss to be in the range of the mid-teens cents per share, compared with breaking even a year ago.

Analysts expected a loss of 3 cents per share for the third quarter.

Shares fell 17 cents to $4.01 in after-hours trading, after closing at $4.18 per share on Thursday. They are near the low end of their 52-week range of $3.48 to $9.58.