Wet Seal says key sales measure fell in September

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. -- The Wet Seal Inc. said Tuesday that revenue from its stores open at least a year fell nearly 13 percent for September.

This is considered a key indicator of a retailer's financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores. Wet Seal said this measure fell 12.6 percent at its namesake stores, which target teenagers, and fell 13.6 percent at its Arden B stores for young women during the five-week period that ended Sept. 29.

While the declines are much greater than what it saw at this time last year, Wet Seal considered it an improvement from its decline of 18.3 percent in August and said the measure was in line with its expectations.

The company's total revenue for the month fell 9.9 percent to $48.3 million.

Wet Seal said it expects that its business will improve and stabilize as it moves into the holiday season.

The company said that it still expects revenue from its stores open at least a year will be within _ or slightly better than _ its expectations of a 14 to 18 percent decline for its fiscal third quarter. It stood by its full third-quarter forecast of a loss between 13 and 16 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting Wet Seal to post a loss of 16 cents per share, on average.

Wet Seal, based in Foothill Ranch, Calif., operates 554 stores across the country. Shares of the company ended down 2 cents at $3.18.