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Hanes posts smaller loss than expected

Bloomberg News/File

Chief executive Richard A. Noll said Hanes should benefit now with “the worst of the cotton inflation behind us.’’

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Underwear and clothing maker Hanesbrands Inc. reported a narrower first-quarter loss than analysts expected. It also said sales are “running above’’ plan. Hanes posted a net loss of 27 cents per share, compared with earnings of 49 cents per share a year earlier. The North Carolina-based company had forecast a loss of up to 35 cents per share. It reconfirmed its 2012 forecast of earnings up to $2.60 per share.

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