Shares of Delia’s shot up nearly 35 percent Friday after strong back-to-school results allowed the multichannel retailer to narrow its second-quarter loss and beat analysts’ expectations.
For the three months ended Aug. 2, the New York-based company posted a net loss of just under $5 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $5.1 million, or 16 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Net sales grew 10.8 percent to $58.1 million from $52.4 million last year. Retail sales rose 22 percent to 23.6 percent, including a same-store sales increase of 5.2 percent, and direct channel sales grew 4.3 percent to $34.5 million.
Internet sales accounted for 82 percent of the direct channel total, up from 76 percent a year ago.
Analysts expected a loss of 17 cents a share on revenues of $58 million.
The stock closed Friday’s Nasdaq session at $2.49, up 64 cents, or 34.6 percent.
Quarterly gross margin increased to 35.3 percent of sales versus 34.6 percent in the 2007 quarter, driven primarily by higher merchandise margins derived from improvements in initial markups and full-price selling.
“We are pleased with our important back-to-school selling period so far, with high-single-digit comps in July and continued strength thus far in August,” said chief executive officer Robert Bernard. “Early indications are that we are seeing a payback for the investments we made earlier in the year in merchandising, store operations and inventory planning and allocation.”
Based on the better-than-expected results, C.L. King & Associates retail analyst Mark Montagna upgraded his rating of the stock to “strong buy” from “neutral” despite the company’s “checkered past.”
“Considering the depths Delia’s share price has sunk to versus its store growth opportunity and margin potential, the stock could ultimately trade at a substantial premium to the group and surpass our target price,” he said. C.L. King’s target price is $4.
Net loss for the first half was $8.9 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $8.4 million, or 27 cents a share. Revenues rose 10.4 percent to $121.7 million, from $110.2 million.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast