Francesca’s Holdings Corp. stock shot up more than 13 percent to $15.84 after the specialty retailer’s second-quarter earnings beat analysts’ expectations and the company raised guidance for the year.
Net income for the quarter rose $10.5 million, or 27 cents a diluted share, up from $9.3 million, or 22 cents, a year ago.
Net sales for the three months ended July 30 increased 9 percent to $115.3 million from $106 million a year earlier. The sales increase was helped by the addition of net 44 new stores. Comparable sales were flat as compared to the same period last year.
Interim chairman, president and chief executive officer Richard Kunes said, “Our compelling merchandise assortment and personalized guest experience resonated well with our customers despite the tough retail landscape and significant traffic decline we experienced early in the quarter.”
Gross margins dropped to 46.8 percent from 47.4 percent, which was attributed to a sales mix change to lower margin categories. Francesca’s said that it had strength in dresses, shoes and gifts that was offset by weaker results in accessories and tops. Graphic Ts were also strong.
Looking ahead, Francesca’s raised its full-year guidance for sales to be in the range of $473 million to $488 million. This is much higher than the Capital IQ estimate for revenue of $469 million. Earnings are forecast to be in the range of 96 cents to $1.03 a diluted share. Capital IQ was projecting earnings of 88 cents a share.
Guidance for third-quarter net sales is in the range of $114 million to $118 million, which is also higher than the Capital IQ estimate of $110 million. Earnings per share are forecast to be in the range of 16 cents to 19 cents. Capital IQ was projecting 16 cents a share.
“As we enter the third quarter, we are pleased with initial results as we successfully executed our targeted back-to-school programs,” said Kunes. “Looking ahead, we are encouraged by our trend-right merchandise assortment, e-commerce growth and favorable inventory position.”
For the full year, Francesca’s plans to open between 55 and 60 stores and close six to 10 underperforming stores. This is a slowdown from 2015’s addition of 83 new boutiques.