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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.

    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.