FINANCE

Report: Bebe considering sale

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brisbane, Calif. – Bebe Stores Inc. is reportedly considering selling the business. According to Reuters, an anonymous source with inside knowledge said Bebe has hired Guggenheim Securities to help evaluate a possible sale.

Neither Bebe nor Guggenheim commented on the article. Bebe has experienced some recent financial disappointment. During the second quarter of fiscal 2014, Bebe reported a net loss of $5.5 million. Net sales declined 4.1% to $130 million, from $135.5 million reported for the second quarter a year earlier and same-store sales decreased 1.9%. Bebe expects flat same-store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014.

For the remainder of fiscal year 2014, the company plans to close up to six Bebe stores and one 2b Bebe store, which will result in approximately an 8% decrease i6 total store square footage from the end of fiscal year 2013.

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FINANCE

Jones Group net loss, net sales fall

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – The Jones Group Inc. reported mixed results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, with net loss and net sales falling in both periods compared to the same periods a year earlier. Net loss fell to $47.1 million from $80.1 million during the fourth quarter, and to $19.7 million from $55 million during the full year.

However, net sales declined 8.5% to $876.5 million from $958.3 million during the quarter, and fractionally to $3.72 billion from $3.75 billion during the full year.

John T. McClain, CEO of Jones Group, said the company is taking actions to enhance profitability and focus on its core brands.

"Our financial position remains strong,” said McClain. “We ended the year with $116 million in cash and our revolver undrawn. We are continuing to focus on inventory management, expense control, and operational efficiencies and believe we will continue to improve margins and maintain a strong balance sheet."

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McDonald’s global same-store sales increase 1.2% in January

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Park, Ill. – McDonald’s Corporation reported a 1.2% increase in global same-store sales during January 2014. That includes a decrease of 3.3% in U.S. same-store sales amid what McDonald’s called broad-based challenges including severe winter weather.

Across the U.S., McDonald’s says it is focused on regaining positive momentum with customer engagement, menu choice and operations excellence initiatives designed to enhance the customer experience. In other global markets, same-store sales grew 2% in Europe and 5.4% in APMEA (Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa).

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