Vince Holding Beats Estimates in Q1

Jill Granoff, chairman and ceo, said in a conference call to Wall Street analysts the company delivered double-digit growth across all distribution channels.

Shares of Vince Holding Corp. rose 19.5 percent on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday after the fashion firm reported first-quarter results that beat both Wall Street’s earnings per share estimate and analysts’ sales estimate.

This story first appeared in the June 6, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Vince shares ended Thursday’s trading session at $33.13 from a Wednesday close of $27.73.

For the three months ended May 3, net income was $1.4 million, or 4 cents a diluted share, against a net loss of $15.1 million, or 58 cents, a year ago. Wall Street was expecting 0 cents for the quarter. On an adjusted basis, taking into account the company’s initial public offering in November and related restructuring transactions last year, net income was $100,000 for the year-ago first quarter, or 0 cents a diluted share. Net sales rose 32.4 percent to $53.4 million from $40.4 million, beating analysts’ consensus sales estimate of $48.8 million.

The company said operating income for the quarter jumped 174 percent to $5.2 million from $1.9 million in the same year-ago period. Excluding transition costs connected with becoming a public company a year ago, operating income rose 64.1 percent for the current quarter, representing 9.7 percent of sales.

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Jill Granoff, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a conference call to Wall Street analysts the company delivered double-digit growth across all distribution channels. Those channels include a sales gain of 29 percent in the wholesale segment, and a 41 percent increase in retail sales driven by an 11.1 percent comparable-store sales gain, six new stores and momentum from a Web site relaunch in February.

The ceo said the company expanded its assortment in women’s contemporary apparel with an “increased focus on outerwear and dresses. Our women’s ready-to-wear business continues to provide a solid foundation for us and we are very enthusiastic about our elevated men’s collection, which will build upon this foundation.”

The company will begin showcasing children’s wear and men’s footwear, both new licensed categories, next month. Women’s licensed footwear is also gaining momentum as a category, Granoff noted.

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In a telephone interview, Granoff attributed the growth of the brand in part to Vince’s “broad customer base,” and said the company plans to open seven to eight stores this year in the U.S. In the last two weeks, the company opened one on Newbury Street in Boston, and its first men’s only store in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. She added that Vince Kids will be presented in stores at select locations, such as at the Madison Avenue site, where the large space on the lower level will be built out to house the line.

Internationally, the company continues to see growth in the U.K. and Japan, as well as sales increases in new territories such as Scandinavia and Benelux. A new shop-in-shop opened in Japan in March, bringing the total number of international shops-in-shop to 11 locations.

The company raised fiscal 2014 guidance for diluted earnings per share to between 88 cents and 92 cents, from its prior forecast of 85 cents to 90 cents. The company expects total net sales in the range of $325 million to $340 million.