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Struggling Talbots falls on sales forecast

Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg News/File 2011

Talbots said it closed 47 locations during the fourth quarter.

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Talbots Inc., the women’s apparel maker that has been struggling to appeal to new, younger customers, dropped the most since December after it said first-quarter sales will decline from a year earlier. The Hingham retailer expects first-quarter sales to decline 9.6 percent from last year to $272 million, as its store base shrinks, the company said. Analysts had estimated revenue of $280 million. For the fourth quarter, Talbots reported a loss of $53.3 million, or 77 cents per share, versus a loss of $2.8 million, or 4 cents, a year ago. Revenue dipped 1 percent to $289.4 million from $292.6 million, but beat Wall Street’s estimate of $267.9 million.

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