Stage Stores Swing into Wider Q1 Loss on Costs, Slowed Sales

Stage StoresHouston—Blaming cooler weather that hindered consumers from shopping for spring merchandise in March and April, Stage Stores Inc. today reported it swung into a wider first quarter loss.

For the quarter ended May 4, the parent to Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles, Stage and Steele’s posted a net loss of $6.9 million, or 21 cents a share, compared to a loss of $418,000, or 1 cent a share, a year ago.

Excluding the 19 cents a share charges related to consolidation at the company South Hill buying office in Virginia, Stage Stores lost 2 cents a share compared with a loss of 5 cents a share in the prior-year period. Analysts’ average estimate expected a profit of 9 cents a share.

Net revenue increased 4% to $378.6 million but still fell short of analysts’ expectation for $388.9 million in sales. Comparable store sales edged up 0.7%. Bestselling categories were accessories, home and gift and the Southwest was the best performing region.

Selling, general and administrative expenses rose to $99.6 million from $92.7 million.

Stage Stores said Friday that the strongest categories were accessories and home and gifts, while the Southwest was the best performing region.

“The unseasonably cool weather in March and April, particularly when compared to last year’s warm spring, strongly impacted our sales performance,” said Michael Glazer, president/ceo.

Despite the early spring weather problems, the company remains upbeat for the rest of the year. “We believe sales in the second quarter will benefit from pent-up demand for seasonal merchandise as temperatures normalize,” Glazer said.

Stage Stores still expects full year sales of $1.7 billion to $1.72 billion with comparable store sales to increase 2% to 4% for the year. Adjusted earnings should range from $1.45 to $1.55 a share.

Analysts’ consensus expects full year sales of $1.72 billion and $1.53 a share in earnings.



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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology.