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Children's Place Loss Widens on Costs of Stock-Option Probe

Children's Place Retail Stores Thursday posted a preliminary quarterly net loss that nearly doubled, hurt by fees related to a stock option probe.

The net loss widened to $27.1 million for the second quarter ended Aug. 4 from $14.0 million a year earlier.

Since the results are preliminary and subject to change until the company finishes filing its historical financial statements, it did not provide earnings per share figures.

But earlier this month the operator of The Children's Place and Disney Store chains said it expected to report a net loss of 94 to 98 cents per share.

The retailer said during the quarter it incurred $1.8 million in professional fees related to the stock option probe.

The company said net sales were $424.3 million in the quarter, up from $395.6 million a year before. Sales rose 8 percent at The Children's Place and 6 percent at the Disney Store.

Same-store sales fell 1 percent.

"We remain cautiously optimistic regarding the second half and are pleased with month-to-date sales trends," said Chief Executive Ezra Dabah. "However, in view of the sales and margin trends we have experienced through the first half, we believe it's best to take a conservative view for the remainder of the year."

The company said it expects earnings per share of 94 cents to $1.02 for the third quarter, $1.79 to $1.86 for the fourth quarter, and $2.25 to $2.40 for the full year.