Investors steered away from Urban Outfitters Inc. stock Thursday after it said higher markdowns led to lower fourth-quarter earnings.In the three months ended Jan. 31, profits at the Philadelphia-based specialty store group fell 24.4 percent to $40.5 million, or 24 cents a diluted share, from $53.6 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago.
Shares of the operator of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People dropped $1.16, or 7.3 percent, to $14.81 Thursday as EPS fell 4 cents short of analysts’ expectations.Sales in the quarter rose 9.2 percent to $508.1 million from $465.4 million in the comparable period of the prior year. Comparable-store sales declined 1 percent, with a 3 percent rise at Urban Outfitters and offset by declines of 6 percent and 13 percent at Anthropologie and Free People, respectively. Direct-to-consumer sales in the quarter shot up 20.4 percent to $87.8 million, while wholesale volume crept up 1.1 percent to $24 million.The company said the higher rate of markdowns it needed to clear seasonal inventory contributed to the net income decline. Fourth-quarter gross margins fell about 550 basis points to 34 percent from 39.6 percent a year ago. On a mid-morning call with investors, chief executive officer Glen Senk said the company was not pleased with the slide in margins.“But we responded quickly to the change in environment and are pleased with the company’s comparable inventory position, down 13 percent at quarter’s end,” Senk continued. “Frankly, I’m not sure the merchant teams or our supplier base could have reacted any better to the abrupt change in business. They turned on a dime and repositioned the inventory in less than three months.”The company said it plans to open 42 to 45 stores in fiscal 2010, down from the 52 it was planning when it released fourth-quarter sales figures in early February. For all of fiscal 2009, profits at Urban Outfitters rose 24.4 percent to $199.4 million, or $1.17 a share, from $160.2 million, or 94 cents a share, in the previous 12 months. Sales in the year rose 21.7 percent to $1.83 billion from $1.51 billion.
“I grew up in New York but I hadn’t really experienced the city in any type of touristy way…This was probably the first museum I really explored and took the time to see,” said @haileybaldwin of the @whitneymuseum. On Tuesday night, Baldwin was joined by Jemima Kirke and more at the annual Whitney Museum Gala and Studio Party, which honored Lorna Simpson, Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and Beth Rudin DeWoody. See more photos on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
Displayed starting this week at the @fashiontextilemuseum: An exhibition on designer @orlakiely titled “Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern,” which spans two decades and contains more than 150 pieces. “I want people to come away loving pattern and print. It’s something that makes you feel so good,” said the designer during a preview of the exhibit. Also on show are mood boards, samples, sketches and more. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)