New York–Shares of Aeropostale Inc. sank to their lowest level in months after the beleaguered teen retail reported Thursday a widened first quarter loss and sales slump. Moreover, the second quarter forecast was equally dismal.
Aeropostale’s first quarter net loss widened to $76.8 million, or 98 cents a share, from $12.2 million or 16 cents a share last year. Adjusted loss, which excludes special items, was $41.1 million or 52 cents a share. Analysts’ average estimate expected a loss of 72 cents a share.
Net sales decreased 12% to $395.9 million from $452.3 million last year, missing analysts’ consensus for $410.04 million in sales.
Comparable store sales, including e-commerce, decreased 13% compared to a decrease of 14% last year.
Gross margin dropped significantly to 17.8% from 22.4% last year.
The company closed 18 Aeropostale stores during the quarter and one P.S. from Aeropostale store.
CEO Thomas Johnson said, “As other retailers experienced, the macroeconomic environment was challenging during the first quarter with aggressive promotions, lower mall traffic, and unseasonable weather. While our overall results were disappointing, we were able to exceed guidance and end the quarter with inventories well-controlled.”
Looking ahead to the second quarter, the company expects to post a loss of 55 to 61 cents a share. Analysts currently expect second-quarter loss of 50 cents share.