Shares of Lands’ End Inc. fell more than 20 percent in early Nasdaq trading Thursday as the firm projected lower sales and earnings in its fourth quarter.
Results were depressed by its diminished presence in Sears stores, unfavorable foreign currency translation and by a weak performance in the firm’s cold-weather assortment.
The stock contracted $11.18, or 22.1 percent, to $39.53 in the first 90 minutes of Nasdaq trading.
The Dodgeville, Wisc.-based direct marketer expects earnings for the quarter ending Jan. 31 to decline to a range of between $1.06 and $1.16 a diluted share, down from $1.44 in the prior year, and overall revenues to decline to between $505 million and $515 million from their year-ago market of $530 million.
The consensus estimate was for earnings of $1.38 a share on revenues of $542.2 million.
While its U.S. direct business improved, the unfavorable impact of currency translation and lower revenues in Europe lowered the unit’s sales to a range of $434 million to $442 million from $443 million in the 2013 quarter.
The retail business is forecast to decline to between $71 million and $73 million in the quarter from $87 million a year ago. Comparable-store sales are expected to decline between 7 and 9 percent.
In addition to the drop in comps, the retail segment was affected by the drop in Lands’ End shops at Sear stores, down to 236 on Jan. 22 from 274 at the conclusion of last year’s fourth quarter, and a decline in Shop Your Way redemption credits from Sears.
Sears’ parent, Sears Holdings Corp., spun off Lands’ End in April.
The firm expects an improvement in its fourth-quarter gross margin — to between 43.8 and 44 percent from 43.7 percent in the 2013 period — with a margin in decline in its retail segment only partially offsetting improvements in its direct business.
“Although our U.S. direct businesses generated increases in both sales and gross margin, we were disappointed by the performance of our cold weather assortment, especially during the peak holiday period,” said Edgar Huber, president and chief executive officer of Lands’ End. “We also experienced mixed customer reactions to some of our fashion investments in key women’s categories such as sweaters and knits.”
In addition to the change in its relationship with Sears, declines in store traffic were cited for the weak showing by its retail business.
Lands’ End expects to release its results for the fourth quarter and full year on March 26.