Value-price urban apparel retailer Citi Trends Inc. saw its shares leap more than 25 percent Wednesday after it reported an unexpected second-quarter profit and initiated both a stock dividend and share repurchase program.
Shares closed at $28.46, up $5.72 or 25.2 percent, after the Savannah, Ga.-based retailer reported net income of $162,000, or 1 cent a diluted share, versus the analysts’ consensus estimate of a 12-cent loss.
In the year-ago period, the company reported a net loss of $2.6 million, or 17 cents a diluted share.
Revenues also exceeded analysts’ expectations, rising 6.1 percent to $153.9 million from $145 million in last year’s period. Wall Street had estimated sales of $153.7 million.
Same-store sales rose 3.9 percent during the quarter while gross margin expanded to 39.4 percent from 36.9 percent in the prior-year quarter.
The company will pay an annual dividend of 24 cents a share and has allotted up to $15 million for share repurchases. The first dividend will be paid on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 1.
Jason Mazzola, president and chief executive officer, told investors on a morning conference call that the three months represented the first profitable second quarter for the company since 2008. “A highlight of the quarter was the strength in the ladies business,” he said. “The ladies area delivered a 7 percent comp store sales increase for the quarter. This is the fourth quarter in a row that ladies has delivered positive comp stores sales.”
Accessories, which includes footwear, was up 6 percent in the quarter against a 24 percent gain in 2014. This lifts to 16 quarters in a row of increases in the category, 10 of which were double-digit increases, Mazzola reported.
Both men’s and children’s sales were down 1 percent in the quarter.
“We had a nice start to the third quarter,” the ceo noted. “This is important because the first two weeks in August represent the two biggest weeks of the quarter from a dollar perspective. We think we transitioned better from spring to fall than we have in the past and that we are positioned to deliver positive comp stores sales increases in the third and fourth quarters.”
In the first half, net income increased 76 percent to $11.4 million, or 75 cents a diluted share, as revenues improved 4.7 percent to $348.8 million and comps rose 2.7 percent.