Claire’s third-quarter profits fall

Jewelry and accessories retailer Claire’s Stores Inc. on Thursday said its fiscal third-quarter profits fell sharply from a year earlier amid the sharp downturn in U.S. retailing, Reuters reported.

The Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based retailer said its net income for the quarter ended Nov. 3 fell to $2.38 million, or 5 cents a share, a fraction of $13.84 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter, Reuters reported. Sales for the period fell 6% to $234 million from $247.5 million a year ago, while sales at stores open at least one year fell 5% for the quarter.

Four Wall Street analysts polled by research firm Thomson Financial/First Call had expected the retailer to post a profit in the range of 2 cents to 11 cents a share, with a mean estimate of 5 cents a share for the quarter, Reuters reported.

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