Bon-Ton January sales slips

February 7, 2013

YORK, Pa. (AP) -- The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. said Thursday that revenue in stores open at least one year fell slightly last month compared with a year ago.

The company also cut its 2012 guidance and shares of the company fell sharply.

The York, Pa., company said that revenue in stores open at least one year fell 0.4 percent in the four weeks ending Jan. 26. Revenue in stores open at least a year is considered an important measurement of retailer health because they exclude results from stores that have opened or closed within the last year.

The company said that it expects a fiscal year 2012 loss of $1.35 to a loss of 60 cents per share. That's far below the earnings of 3 cents per share that analysts were expecting, according to research firm FactSet. Results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 are expected to be released March 12, 2013.

The company also said it will stop reporting month stales starting in February. Many of Bon-Ton's competitors have also stopped reporting monthly sales, the company said.

For the fiscal year 2012, the company said that total sales rose 1.2 percent to $2.92 billion compared to 2.89 billion in the same period a year ago. Revenue in stores open at least one rose 0.5 percent in fiscal year 2012.

Bon-Ton shares fell $1.68, or 12.2 percent, to $12.04 in afternoon trading Thursday.