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Maidenform posts 4Q loss on charges, discounting

ISELIN, N.J. (AP) -- Women's underwear maker Maidenform Brands Inc. said Wednesday that employee severance costs and higher payroll and distribution costs all contributed to it posting a loss for the fourth quarter.

Maidenform also issued weak earnings guidance, but its shares inched up 19 cents to $20.75 as the overall markets rose.

Maidenform struggled during the quarter with the impact of heavy discounting and special costs for cutting staff and product lines. It lost $3.1 million, or 13 cents per share, for the period that ended Dec. 31. That's compared with net income of $6.7 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, it broke even, but analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 2 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Madenform's revenue rose 5 percent to $124.5 million and beat analysts' average forecast for $116.2 million as rising sales to mass merchants and departments stores made up for a drop in sales to a specialty retailer that puts its own label on Maidenform products.

The company's full-year profit fell to $33.2 million, or $1.42 per share, from $45.3 million, or $1.94 per share, in 2010. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.73 per share. Its net income fell to $33.2 million from $45.3 million, and its revenue rose 9 percent to $606.3 million.

CEO Maurice Reznik said the company has cut costs and made improvements in its supply chain that will increase its margins and profits in the second half of 2012.

Maidenform expects to earn 22 cents to 26 cents per share for the first quarter on revenue of $150 million to $155 million. But analysts were expecting first-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share and revenue of $166.2 million.

Maidenform said it expects to earn $1.75 to $1.85 per share for the full year. It anticipates revenue growth of 1.5 to 3.5 percent, which calculates to annual revenue of $615.4 to $627.6 million. Analysts are anticipating earnings of $1.92 per share on revenue of $621.2 million.