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Vera Bradley quarterly earnings drop 29%

Vera Bradley Inc. today reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $6.58 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, a 29 percent drop from the $9.19 million, or 23 cents a share, posted for the same 13-week period of 2013.

The Fort Wayne-based company designs, makes and sells quilted cotton handbags, luggage and accessories.

CEO Robert Wallstrom said first-quarter sales of $113.5 million – an 8 percent decline – were modestly below expectations, but earnings per share were higher than Vera Bradley executives had predicted because they were able to hold expenses down.

“However, we continue to face a difficult environment, one that is proving much more challenging than we anticipated just two short months ago,” he said in a statement.

For more on this story, see Friday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Friday.

sslater@jg.net

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