Zale Falls on Wider-Than-Expected First-Quarter Loss

Zale Falls After Posting Wider-Than-Expected Loss: Dallas Mover
Zale Corp. said in a statement yesterday that its loss in the three months ended Oct. 31 narrowed to $28.3 million, or 88 cents a share, from $31.9 million, or 99 cents, a year earlier. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Zale Corp., the operator of the Zales and Piercing Pagoda jewelry chains, fell the most in almost four years after reporting a fiscal first-quarter loss that was wider than analysts estimated.

The shares slid 30 percent to $5.21 at the close in New York for the biggest one-day decline since Nov. 25, 2008. The shares had gained 95 percent this year through yesterday.

Zale said in a statement yesterday that its loss in the three months ended Oct. 31 narrowed to $28.3 million, or 88 cents a share, from $31.9 million, or 99 cents, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated a 68-cent loss. Sales rose 1.8 percent to $357.5 million, trailing analysts’ average estimate of $366 million.

Zale, based in Irving, Texas, has posted five straight years of losses. The company yesterday reiterated that it expects to be profitable in its current fiscal year.

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