Chico’s Q4 Profit, Sales Beat Estimates

In Industry News, Reports, What's New by Accessories StaffLeave a Comment

A "bold in the boardroom" wear to work look from Chico's White House|Black Market stores

Fort Myers, FL—Chico’s FAS reported today that its fourth quarter profit and sales beat forecasts, due primarily to a strong sales at its higher margin Soma and White House|Black Market stores.

For the quarter ended Jan. 28, Chico’s said its net income rose 25% to $25.1 million or 15 cents a share share, from $20.7 million, or 12 a share, a year ago.

Net sales jumped 20% to $569.2 million. Comparable store sales increased 8.7% on top of a 4.5% comp sales increase in the same quarter a year ago. Total sales also included $28.5 million for Boston Proper, which the company purchased last fall.

The results beat analysts’ average estimate expecting 11 cents a share on sales of $547.2 million.

‘Full-Price Selling’ at WH|BM

Chico’s reported that its sales were helped by increases in both the average dollar sale and transaction count. Its Chico’s/Soma Intimates brands’ comparable sales increased 5.5% on top of a 4.4% increase in last year’s fourth quarter. Comparable store sales at White House | Black Market increased 15.4% on top of a 4.7% increase in last year’s fourth quarter

Although gross margins decreased to 52.3% from 53.2%, a year ago, the decrease was less than the company had projected.

“This decrease was primarily attributable to planned strategic use of Chico’s brand inventory for traffic-driving promotions during the fourth quarter and the inclusion of Boston Proper’s results, which were partially offset by higher margins at the WH|BM and Soma Intimates brands due to increased full-price selling and effective promotional activities,” the company said.

For its fiscal 2012, the specialty retailer said it expects net sales to increase by a mid-teens percentage to $2.5 billion. Comparable store sales are expected to grow in a mid-single digit percentage and gross margin is expected to be down to 50 basis points.

Analysts’ average estimate expects annual sales to hit $2.43 billion.

In a conference call with analysts, David Dyer, ceo, said the company plans 135 new stores this year, including 40 as outlet stores.

“The company posted a surprisingly strong fourth quarter given the performance of other women’s retailers like Christopher & Banks Corp and Ann Inc, as well as the performance of the women’s apparel category at the department stores,” Nomura analyst Paul Lejuez told Reuters.


It's only fair to share...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someone