Stage Stores Raises Outlook on Strong Q2 Report

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Houston–Stage Stores reported Thursday a second quarter profit and sales that beat analysts’ estimates. The company, whose stores operate in small and mid-sized markets, raised its full year outlook as a result.

For the quarter ended July 28, Stage net income increased 28% to $11.66 million, or 37 cents a share, from $10.01 million, or 29 cents a share, reported last year.

Net sales rose to $381.62 million from $352.83 million a year ago. Comparable store sales increased 5.4%.

The earnings report easily beast analysts’ estimate for 34 cents a share on sales of $368.69 million.

“Driven by our 5.4% same store sales increase and improvements in merchandise margins, EPS increased 28%. “Strong full-price sales and lower markdowns resulted in higher average prices, and benefited both sales and merchandise margins in the quarter,” said Michael Glazer, president/ceo.

As a result, Stage Stores raised its fiscal full year forecast to $1.15 to $1.25 a share (excluding a onetime charge of 6 cents) up from its previous forecast of $1.08 to $1.20 a share. Sales projections were increased to the range of $1.605 billion to $1.62 billion.

For the year, analysts’ average estimate expects earnings of $1.17 a share, on revenues of 1.6 billion. Comparable store sales are anticipated to be in the range of 2.5% to 3.5%, up from 0.8% to 2.4% range.