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Body Central -- >>> Ahead of the Bell:

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gfp927z   Friday, 08/02/13 09:44:08 AM
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Body Central -- >>> Ahead of the Bell: Body Central sinks

Body Central stock loses a third of its value in premarket trading after weak 2Q report

Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Body Central Corp. lost a third of their value in premarket trading Friday after a disappointing second-quarter report marked by fewer customers and heavy discounting.

The seller of trendy women's clothing late on Thursday posted a loss of $12.8 million, or 78 cents per share, for the three months through June 29, while revenue fell 5 percent to $75.2 million. Last year the company posted profit of $3.5 million, or 21 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items such as writing down the value of its catalog and online sales division, the company posted a 15-cent loss.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a profit of 10 cents per share on revenue of $82 million.

Body Central runs nearly 300 Body Central and Body Shop stores, targeting women in their teens and twenties with lower-priced clothing.

Body Central's stores in its June quarter suffered "a decline in store traffic combined with deep markdowns," said CEO Brian Woolf in a statement. Its catalog and online sales posted a "significant decline in sales" and profitability as the company tweaked its offerings.

Woolf said the company took "aggressive steps" to sell out old inventory so Body Central could stock new clothing that the company thinks will be more appealing for shoppers.

Body Central's management team has a chance to make some progress given low expectations, said analyst Randal Konik of Jefferies. The company's recent efforts to improve its merchandising and marketing teams should result in clothing and accessories that are more appealing to trend-focused shoppers, he wrote in a client note. Konik has a "Hold" rating on the stock.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company's stock dropped $4 to $7.95 before the market open. Shares have gained 20 percent this year.


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