Women's apparel retailer Charming Shoppes Inc. today reported a loss in its first quarter, mainly from a big drop in sales at established stores.

For the quarter ended May 3, the Bensalem company recorded a loss of $34.5 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with a profit of $26.3 million, or 20 cents per share, in the prior year quarter.

Excluding a loss of about 30 cents per share for discontinued operations, the company said it earned 1 cent per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a loss of 6 cents per share.

The company's results were hurt by $3.6 million in restructuring charges and a 61 percent drop in other income, which primarily comes from interest income.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $641.3 million from $696.6 million in the first quarter of 2008. Analysts predicted revenue of $725.3 million.

Sales from the company's retail stores segment fell 10 percent while same-store sales, or sales from stores open at least a year, dropped 13 percent.

Same-store sales is a key indicator of retailer performance because it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

The company, which runs Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant and other stores nationwide catering mostly to plus-size women, blamed the sales drop on a decline in traffic at its stores.

Heading into today's Nasdaq trading, company shares were poised to open at $5.64, up $0.10 from Monday's close.