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Sharper Image’s Loss Is Deeper Than Expected

From Times Wire Services

Sharper Image Corp. posted an unexpectedly deep second-quarter loss as it cut prices to spur merchandise sales, and it reduced its full-year financial forecast.

The company’s shares fell 67 cents to $12.35 in after-hours trading after gaining 50 cents to $13.02 in regular trading.

The San Francisco-based retailer of high-end electronics and other gadgets lost $6.8 million, or 45 cents a share, contrasted with a year-earlier profit of $93,000, or a penny a share. Revenue fell 8% to $137.3 million as catalog sales fell 29% and retail sales tumbled 39%.

Wall Street had expected a loss of 43 cents a share on revenue of $138.6 million, according to a survey of 10 analysts by Thomson Financial.

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Same-store sales fell 9%, contrasted with a 1% increase a year earlier.

Sharper Image’s sales have suffered in recent months after negative reviews in Consumer Reports magazine about the Ionic Breeze brand of air purifiers the company sells in its stores and catalogs.

The retailer projected a loss of 35 cents to 40 cents a share for the third quarter and results ranging from a loss of 15 cents a share to a profit of 15 cents a share for the full fiscal year. In May, the retailer forecast full-year earnings between break even and 30 cents a share.

Analysts’ consensus estimate calls for a loss of 31 cents a share for the current quarter and a loss of 3 cents for the full year.

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