Holiday Markdowns Take Toll on Talbots

Hingham, Mass., Talbots said its profit for the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 29, dropped due to markdowns taken to clear merchandise after the holidays. The chain posted a 27% decline in net income to $16 million, or 29? a share, compared with profit of $22 million, or 38? a share, a year ago. The results were in line with the company’s own estimates, as well as those of analysts.

Similar to other retailers, Talbots said it is changing the way it accounts for leases due to new regulatory guidelines. The retailer said it believes the impact to earnings in any given period from the restatement of some results will not be significant.

Sales for the quarter rose 11% to $470.7 million from $433.7 million a year ago. Same-store sales were up 4.4%. Net sales fell short of analysts’ average expectation of $479.3 million.

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