Women's apparel retailer Charming Shoppes plans to end its Lane Bryant catalog amid 3Q loss in deteriorating economic environment

NEW YORK , November 26, 2008 () – Women's apparel retailer Charming Shoppes Inc. said Tuesday its third-quarter loss widened amid a deteriorating economic environment, and outlined a restructuring plan including closing stores and ending the Lane Bryant catalog.

Investors seemed to approve the restructuring moves and its better-than-expected adjusted results, and snapped up the shares. The operator of Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant stores, saw its stock surge 65 cents, or 54.2 percent, to $1.85 in morning trading.

Women's apparel retailers, including Charming Shoppes, have been among the hardest hit as consumers cut back amid financial-market turmoil, tight credit and a prolonged housing slump.

Losses for the quarter ended Nov. 1 totaled $93 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with a loss of $3.6 million, or 3 cents per share last year. Excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges, the loss totaled 21 cents per share.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $553.1 million from $599.7 million last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, predicted a deeper loss of 36 cents per share on revenue of $536.8 million.

Results beat company expectations of a loss, excluding charges, of 35 cents to 37 cents per share.

Sales in stores open at least one year, a key retail metric known as same-store sales, fell 9 percent.

"Our October sales and margin performance improved from the very difficult levels we experienced during September, which allowed us to deliver results that exceeded our previous guidance," said Alan Rosskamm, chairman and interim chief executive.

The company said it will start a restructuring plan that will save $100 million to $125 million and include discontinuing the Lane Bryant Woman catalog and closing stores in a cost-cutting effort.

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