First quarter sales for bebe stores Inc (NASDAQ:BEBE) failed to meet expectations, but the company is confident it has made positive steps to rectify the situation in time for the holiday season. Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2001 were $62.0 million, up 9.5% from $56.6 million reported for the first quarter a year ago. As previously reported, same store sales for the quarter decreased by 12.2% compared to the corresponding period of the prior year. Net earnings for the first quarter were $5.8 million, compared to $7.5 million in the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter were $0.23 versus $0.30 in the same period a year ago."Although this quarter did not meet my expectations, we did make progress," said Manny Mashouf, president and chief executive officer. "We focused on disposing of prior season goods and broadening our product assortment. We have made positive steps in both of these areas and look forward to the coming holiday season."bebe designs, develops and produces a distinctive line of contemporary women's apparel and accessories, which it markets under the bebe, bbsp and bebe moda brand names. After opening eleven stores in the September quarter, bebe currently operates 134 stores in the United States, the UK, Canada and an online store at