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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-CKE Restaurants Inc., the fast-food giant whose Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s eateries make it one of the West’s biggest commercial real estate tenants, has reported its sixth-straight quarterly loss but says a financial rebound could be coming soon.

The Anaheim-based company says it lost $37.1 million in its fiscal first quarter that ended May 21, compared to a smaller $2.45-million loss in the same period a year earlier. Sales dropped 19%, to $471.5 million.

In a statement, CKE blamed most of its latest losses on the cost of selling or closing 110 of its Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants. The sales were made as part of the company’s previously announced plan to get out of debt.

Indeed, the CKE report says its debt has dropped to about $46 million from $300 million a year ago. “I believe we made … progress in this quarter,” CEO Andrew Puzder says in the company’s earnings statement. Though CKE will likely post another loss in its current quarter, Puzder says the firm’s shrinking debt load and improving sales figures indicate that the company is “turning the corner.”

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