Zale posts first-quarter loss

Zale Corp. Dallas, the largest U.S. specialty jewelry retailer, on Tuesday reported a fiscal first-quarter loss, reversing a year-earlier profit as the faltering economy slowed sales growth.

The Dallas-based company, which has also grappled with inventory and merchandise quality problems, reported a net loss of $3.7 million or 10 cents a share, versus net income of $5.7 million or 16 cents a share in the year ago quarter, Reuters reported.

Total sales in the quarter rose to $405 million from $372 million, Reuters reported. However, sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.3%. Zale said due to the prevailing economic uncertainty it expects second quarter same-store sales to fall by 3 to 7%.