Orange County Business Journal

Wet Seal Meets Q2 Expectations on Earnings, Boosts Outlook

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, August 18, 2011

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. offered a better than expected profit outlook for the current quarter as the company looks to continue improving its merchandise mix at stores.

The teen mall retailer said it expects a profit for the three months through October of $5.5 million to $6.6 million, higher than the $4.4 million analysts on average expected.

Wet Seal forecasts sales for the current quarter of $159 million to $161 million, which would be up as much as 10% from a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts on average expect Wet Seal to hit the high end of the projection.

Wet Seal runs 542 clothing stores for teen girls and young women.

Its dominant Wet Seal chain for teens totals 460 stores. The rest of the chain is made up of stores operating under the company’s Arden B. division geared toward young women.

The current quarter outlook follows Wet Seal’s earnings announcement for the three months through July.

Wet Seal reported earnings for the recently ended quarter of $2.2 million, in line with analyst expectations.

The company beat Wall Street on revenue during the recently ended quarter with $148.8 million.

Analysts on average expected revenue of $146.9 million.

“We were pleased with continued momentum in our business through the second quarter as we entered the back-to-school selling season,” said Chief Executive Susan McGalla in a statement.

Sales of stores open at least a year were up 6% for the recently ended quarter, led by a 6.2% increase in the Wet Seal division.

The overall same-store sales increase is the highest it has been since 2005, which McGalla partially attributed to “a clarified message of unique fashion at a value in our Wet Seal stores.”