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Guess forecasts surprise loss for current quarter, shares fall

March 19 (Reuters) - Apparel maker Guess Inc forecast a surprise loss for the current quarter, citing weak traffic at its stores in North America and pressure in its wholesale business in Europe.

Shares of the company, which also reported an 8 percent fall in quarterly profit, declined about 10 percent after the bell.

Apparel retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters Inc , Urban Outfitters Inc and Express Inc have also given weak forecasts as they have been forced to discount heavily to attract U.S. shoppers to their stores.

Guess said it expected a loss of 5-9 cents per share for the quarter ending May 3.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 11 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company forecast revenue of $520 million-$535 million, below the average analyst estimate of $545.9 million.

Guess said its net earnings fell to $69.6 million, or 82 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 1 from $75.6 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company earned 83 cents per share, excluding items.

Revenue fell 5.7 percent to $768.4 million.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 79 cents per share on revenue of $762.9 million.

Guess shares closed at $28.76 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has fallen about 7 percent this year.

(Reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)