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LNT cuts 2Q forecast

CLIFTON, N.J. — After the market closed yesterday, Linens ’n Things substantially cut its earnings forecast for the second quarter, citing a slump in customer traffic in May.

LNT now expects earnings per share for the second quarter ended July 3 in the range of 1 to 2 cents per share, off dramatically from the previous guidance of 8 to 9 cents per share.

New accounting provisions for recording vendor allowances also impacted the forecast, the company said. Excluding the allowances, revised EPS would be 10 to 11 cents per share versus previous guidance of 15 to 16 cents per share.

"Although we expect our gross margins for the quarter to remain consistent with the prior year, we were not able to leverage our expense structure during this seasonally lower volume quarter," said Norman Alexrod, chairman and CEO.

Net sales for the quarter increased approximately 10.5 percent to $578.7 million. Comps were essentially flat, up 0.2 percent.

The company did not adjust its fiscal year forecast of annual EPS of $1.83 to $1.93, excluding the vendor allowance accounting adjustment.

LNT is scheduled to report full second quarter results on July 21.