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Build-A-Bear Hires Lehman to Consider Alternatives

Build-A-Bear Workshop, which sells customer-personalized stuffed animals, said Thursday it hired Lehman Brothers to help it consider strategic alternatives.

The news sent shares up $2.14, or nearly 10 percent, to $24.65 in premarket trading.

The company said it won't issue any new earnings guidance, nor update prior forecasts while the review is being conducted.

In a statement, Chairman and Chief Executive Maxine Clark said the company is still committed to expanding in North America to at least 350 stores and building its store base in Europe to 120 stores, as well as growing international franchising to 300 stores.

"That said, we also believe that we have an obligation to shareholders to consider a broad range of potential strategic alternatives that could further enhance shareholder value," Clark said.

Earlier this month, the company cut its second-quarter and full-year outlook due to poor same-store sales in North America.

Shares closed Wednesday at $22.51. The stock rose from a low of $20.20 last summer to peak at $32.08 in late November, but recently plummeted on the revised forecast.

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