Shares of Burlington Stores Inc. jumped 5.4 percent as New York Stock Exchange trading began Tuesday after the off-price retailer boosted its second-quarter sales and cut losses in the period more than expected.
In the three months ended Aug. 2, the Burlington, N.J.-based off-price chain reported a net loss of $6.5 million, or 9 cents a diluted share, down from the loss of $25 million, or 34 cents, reported during the 2013 quarter. Eliminating one-time items, such as the effect of early extinguishment of debt and expenses tied to its secondary stock offering, the adjusted loss was 1 cent a share, 7 cents better than the 8-cent loss expected, on average, by analysts.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 23.8 percent to $58.1 million from $46.9 million in the year-ago period.
Sales were up 8.3 percent to $1.04 billion from $963.7 million in the 2013 quarter, with a 4.7 percent increase in same-store sales on top of the 7.8 percent increase registered in last year’s quarter. The consensus estimate for sales was $1.03 billion.
Gross margin rose to 38.2 percent of sales from 37.7 percent a year ago, and inventories declined 4.9 percent to $711.5 million from $748.3 million in advance of the peak outerwear season.
Tom Kingsbury, president and chief executive officer of the firm, noted that the improvement in adjusted ebitda reflected “both operating expense leveraging and gross margin expansion versus last year. We continue to believe that these results are indicative of the continued improvement in the executive of our off-price model.”
He characterized the firm’s stores as “well positioned for the fall season based on the level and currency of our inventory.”
In the third quarter, Burlington expects net sales to increase between 6.4 and 7.4 percent, comps to rise between 3 and 4 percent and adjusted EPS of between 9 and 12 cents. The earlier consensus estimate was for EPS of 11 cents.
Shares rose $1.94 to $38 as trading began Tuesday. Their 52-week high of $39.81 was reached on Sept. 4.