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.