Express Q2 Profit Beats Estimates, Cautions Ahead

Columbus, OH—Despite reporting today a stronger-than-expected second-quarter profit, Express missed on sales forecasts and lowered its second half outlook.

For the quarter ended July 28, Express retailer reported a 26% increase in net income to $15.8 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with $12.6 million, or 14 cents a share. That topped analysts’ average estimate by a penny.

Total revenue was up 2% to $454 million, missing analysts’ estimate for $467 million. Comparable store increased by 1%.

Promotional activity later in the quarter was partially offset by improved sales and tighter expenses, the company said.

Express has been expanded abroad—most recently in Mexico—and confirmed that it would be opening flagship locations in New York’s Times Square and San Francisco’s Union Square by the Fall 2013.

“We continued to focus on our growth pillars during the quarter, opening new stores and maintaining double digit growth in e-commerce,” Express CEO Michael Weiss said.

He added, however, that “as we begin the second half of the year, we believe it is prudent to set our guidance more conservatively and in line with the trend we experienced in the second quarter.”

The company now expects third quarter comparable sales to be flat to up in the low-single-digits range with net income in the range of 27 cents to 32 cents. That’s below analysts’ consensus for 37 cents.

Express expects to open eight new stores during the quarter, on top of the eight it opened in the second quarter.

For its fourth quarter, Express estimated earnings between 77 cents and 82 cents a share. Analysts’ estimate expects 82 cents.

 

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