New York & Company Inc. delivered increased sales for the fourth quarter and gave positive guidance for the first quarter.
Net income for the quarter ended Jan. 30 was $100,000, or breakeven per diluted share, up from last year’s net loss of $6.7 million, or 11 cents. Adjusted net income was $700,000, or 1 cent per diluted share, and inline with the FactSet estimate.
Net sales for the quarter increased to $271.2 million from $267.3 million a year earlier. This was just shy of the FactSet estimate for $272 million. Comparable-store sales increased 1.9 percent in the quarter and was the fourth consecutive quarter of positive comp-store sales growth.
For the full year, the company’s net sales rose to $950.1 million over last year’s $923.3 million. Comps increased 3.1 percent as compared to a drop for last year of 1 percent. The yearly losses were trimmed to $8.1 million from last year’s loss of $15.6 million.
“The fourth quarter was highlighted by increased sales, positive comparable sales, expansion in gross margin and a reduction in expenses,” said Gregory Scott New York & Co.’s chief executive officer. “Combined, this drove a $7 million improvement in GAAP operating income and a $1.1 million increase in non-GAAP adjusted net income versus the fourth quarter of 2014.”
The company was able to improve margins by 130 basis points due to reduced product costs, reduced store occupancy costs and cuts in the buying payroll. New York & Co. closed 18 stores during the fourth quarter.
Looking ahead, the company expects net sales and comps to increase in the low-single digits. Operating results for the first quarter of 2016 are expected to improve to income between $2 million and $3 million for the best first-quarter performance in eight years.
New York & Co. stock has had a rocky year, but after 12 months the stock is now up 18 percent and lately traded at $2.64.