Liz Claiborne Shares Tumble on Slashed Forecast

By RetailFOXBusiness

Shares of Liz Claiborne (NYSE:LIZ) were down more than 15% Tuesday morning, a day after the company cut its outlook and said chief financial officer Andrew Warren will resign in March.

The company, which will officially become known as Fifth & Pacific in May, now expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2012 between $125 million and $140 million, compared with its earlier view of $130 million to $150 million.

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“This new range appropriately reflects a more cautious view of how much cost reduction we can achieve in 2012 versus 2013 as well as a more conservative outlook for he wholesale channel at both Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand,” Liz CEO William McComb said in a statement.

The retailer expects earnings to be at the low end of its earlier view in fiscal 2011, which it said stems largely from negative comps and lower-than-planned gross margins at Juicy Couture.

In December, comparable sales at Kate Spade were up about 39%, while those at Lucky grew 21% and those at Juicy fell 5%.

The company continues to anticipate stronger performance in all channels at Kate Spade and in the direct to consumer channel at Lucky Brand. Juicy’s direct to consumer performance is expected to improve beginning with the spring collection.

Last week, Liz Claiborne said it would change its name to Fifth & Pacific to celebrate the fashion hubs of New York and California and reposition its brand after selling its namesake line to J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) late last year.

The New York-based brand operator has been selling off locations and brands in an effort to cut down on costs, reduce debt and remain competitive in today’s economic environment.

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