Bebe Announces Workforce Reorganization, $5 Million Share Repurchase Program

Bebe Stores Inc. announced a workforce reorganization that will include 50 job cuts, mostly in the design, merchandising and production areas. The company expects pre-tax costs of $1.5 million tied to the reorganization and about $4.8 million in annual cost savings. "Following a detailed review of our business, the Company made the strategic decision to narrow the merchandise focus and increase emphasis on lifestyle assortments that most closely align with our customers' needs," said Jim Wiggett, chief executive of Bebe. Wiggett said the company has "largely moved through [its] underperforming bohemian product," so it's maintaining its first-quarter outlook: net loss per share is expected to be in the high teens, gross margin is expected to be lower than the previous year, and same-store sales are expected to be in the negative mid-single digit range. The board of directors also authorized a $5 million share repurchase program. Bebe stock closed on Thursday at 98 cents and is up 3.9% in after-hours trading. The company's stock is down 55.4% for the year so far while the S&P is down 6.6% for the same period.

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