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Diverging Paths for Teen Retailers

NEW YORK — Of the two teen retailers posting sales and earnings Thursday, the results were just as finicky as the sector’s core customers: Bebe Stores Inc.’s quarterly comps soared, while Charlotte Russe Holding Inc.’s...

NEW YORK — Of the two teen retailers posting sales and earnings Thursday, the results were just as finicky as the sector’s core customers: Bebe Stores Inc.’s quarterly comps soared, while Charlotte Russe Holding Inc.’s same-store sales plunged.

Looking at their bottom line, Bebe Stores reported a 74.7 percent surge in second-quarter earnings Thursday, while competitor Charlotte Russe’s first-quarter profits plunged 75.4 percent, and the company said it expects to report a loss in the current quarter.

Bebe said earnings for the three months ended Jan. 1 were $24.3 million, or 39 cents a diluted share, versus $13.9 million, or 23 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts had been expecting a profit of 40 cents.

Investors were apparently disappointed that Bebe’s per-share profit missed the consensus and sent shares of the company down 14.2 percent to close at $23.35 in Thursday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Total sales rose 36.2 percent to $152.6 million from $112 million a year ago. Same-store sales jumped 27.3 percent.

In the first six months of the fiscal year, Bebe had earnings of $35.7 million, or 58 cents a diluted share, up 79 percent from $19.9 million, or 34 cents, last year. Earnings per share in both the year-to-date and latest quarter have been adjusted to reflect a recently announced 3-for-2 stock split.

Total year-to-date revenues at Bebe were $255.7 million, up 30.8 percent, while same-store sales increased 20.8 percent.

Bebe forecast third-quarter earnings of 11 to 14 cents, compared with the consensus estimate of 13 cents. The Brisbane, Calif.-based company estimated that same-store sales will be up in the midteens.

Meanwhile, challenged by the holiday season, Charlotte Russe said earnings for the first quarter ended Dec. 25 were $1.6 million, or 7 cents a diluted share, compared with $6.6 million, or 28 cents, last year. Wall Street was calling for earnings of 8 cents.

Total revenues were up 0.5 percent at $150 million, but same-store sales fell 9.9 percent.

The San Diego, Calif.-based company expects to report a loss of 7 to 11 cents in the second quarter, wider than analysts’ estimates for a loss of 4 cents.