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Wet Seal (WTSLA) Cuts Jobs, COO Resigns

 February 01, 2013 04:28 PM

(By Balachander) Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA), an apparel retailer to women, said it plans to reduce jobs to align with its current business requirements and it has authorized a $25 million share repurchase program.

The Foothill Ranch, California-based company also said its Chief Operating Officer Ken Seipel has resigned, effective immediately, to pursue other opportunities.

Wet Seal said it will slash 35 positions, 32 of which were eliminated in its corporate offices and three were eliminated in the field.

The company expects these actions to result in annualized pre-tax savings of roughly $3.8 million beginning in fiscal 2013.

[Related -February Same-Store Sales Roundup]

Wet Seal said it expects to record one-time severance charges of about $1.3 million in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

Assuming the company's forecasted effective income tax rate of 39 percent, Wet Seal estimates the above net cost savings will benefit earnings per share by 4 cents in fiscal 2013.

As of Dec. 29, 2012, Wet Seal operated a total of 555 stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Shares ended Friday's regular trading at $2.78.

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