Net sales were $94.9 million, a decrease of 9.0% from $104.3 million reported for the fourth quarter a year ago.
Comparable store sales decreased 4.6% compared to an increase of 1.1% in the comparable period of the prior year.
Gross margin as a percentage of net sales decreased to 30.9% compared to 34.8% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. The decrease in margin was primarily the effect of aggressive promotions discussed above, write downs of aged inventory and lost leverage on fixed occupancy cost.
SG&A expenses were $36.3 million, or 38.2% of net sales, compared to $41.3 million, or 39.6% of net sales, for the same period in the prior year.
The decrease in SG&A expenses was primarily attributable to a reduction in compensation expense reflecting the effects of savings from restructuring activities offset by $1 million in asset impairment cost related to stores.
Net gain from the sale of our intellectual property assets of $31.7 million in fiscal 2016 is the result of the transaction with Bluestar.
Income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 was $25.1 million, or $0.31 per share, on 80.6 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to a loss of $5.5 million, or $0.07 per share, on 79.6 million diluted shares outstanding for the same period of the prior year.
Included in income from continuing operations for the quarter is the net gain from the Bluestar transaction of $31.7 million. Excluding the impact of the Bluestar transaction, loss from continuing operations was $6.8 million, or $0.08 per share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
During the quarter ended July 2, 2016, the Company closed 4 bebe stores and opened one outlet store.
Net sales for the fiscal year ended July 2, 2016, were $393.6 million, a decrease of 8.0% from $428.0 million for the fiscal year ended July 4, 2015. Comparable store sales for the fiscal year ended July 2, 2016, decreased 4.5% compared to an increase of 3.1% in the prior year.
Loss from continuing operations for the fiscal year ended July 2, 2016, was $27.5 million, or $0.34 per share, compared to a loss of $25.4 million, or $0.32 per share in the prior year.
Included in the loss from continuing operations for fiscal 2016 was a net gain of $31.7 million.
Excluding the impact of the net gain, loss from continuing operations was $59.2 million or $0.74 per share for fiscal 2016. Loss from continuing operations in fiscal 2016 was impacted by higher store impairment charges and expenses incurred related to store closures.
In addition, compensation expense was higher relative to net sales due to the effects of severance payments related to corporate restructuring earlier in the fiscal year.
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