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Zale Posts $6.7M Loss for 1st Qtr.

November 14, 2002

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DALLAS (AP) _ Jewelry retailer Zale Corp., bruised by the sluggish economy and lighter traffic in the malls, posted a loss for its fiscal first quarter, but the results met Wall Street’s reduced expectations.

North America’s largest jewelry chain said Thursday it lost $6.7 million, or 20 cents per share, in the three months ended Oct. 31. That compares with a profit of $37.64 million, or $1.08 per share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected a loss of 20 cents, which had been revised from a 10 cent loss last month when Zale said that results would be worse than previously expected because of a challenging environment.

Revenue in the quarter was sluggish, at $412 million compared to $410 million a year earlier.

Sales at stores opened at least a year, known as same-store sales slipped 0.6 percent, Zale said.

Same-store sales are considered a key measure of a retailer’s health.

The Dallas-based chain operates 2,300 stores under several banners, including Zales Jewelers, Gordon’s Jewelers and Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers.

Zale shares rose 42 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close Thursday at $30.05 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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On the Net:

http:// www.zalecorp.com

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