Shares of Esprit fell more than 14 percent to a seven-week low after the world's No.6 fashion retailer by market value posted a worse-than-expected drop earnings, and as it forecast continued weakness in its wholesale orderbook.
Retail stocks have had quite a run over the past several months as cost cuts and a big push to tighten inventories have helped many companies in the sector beat Wall Street's earnings estimates despite falling sales.
Women's plus-size apparel retailer Charming Shoppes Inc reported a quarterly profit that missed market estimates, hurt by a worse-than-expected slump in sales as recession-hit consumers remained reluctant to spend.
New York & Co Inc posted a second-quarter loss in line with market estimates as it cut costs and tightly managed inventory to contend with the weak sales climate. The women's chain said it will no longer provide specific sales and earnings outlook.
Tighter control on expenses should help Bebe Stores Inc post quarterly profits above Wall Street targets, but the retailer's earnings outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 could disappoint investors.
Women's apparel retailer Chico's FAS Inc posted a higher quarterly profit, meeting Wall Street estimates, helped by increases in sales and gross margin, and the company's shares rose 5 percent in premarket trading.