Shares of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. were off as much as 75 percent in afternoon trading today amid reports that a bankruptcy is looming for the troubled retailer.
The company had a recent market value of less than $7 million and its shares have plunged about 63 percent since the start of the year.
The company in March was reported to have hired investment bank Guggenheim Securities and FTI Consulting Inc. A new report said a bankruptcy filing could come as early as next week.
A call to the company’s Anaheim, Calif. headquarters was forwarded to Greg Crawford, senior creative director at the retailer, who could not be reached for comment.
The retailer has plodded along on an uneven turnaround path for several years now. Its strategy has shifted alongside that path under ceo Gary Schoenfeld, who first played up the action sports industry’s heritage brands in store. A new focus on the women’s side came with the arrival of former senior vice president of women’s merchandising and design Christine Lee in 2010, bringing in new brands such as Brandy Melville and a line from Kendall and Kylie Jenner during which time the company showed some bright spots in the business.
Pacific Sunwear’s last quarterly update was in December for the third quarter ended in October during which the company saw same-store sales fall 3 percent. Net sales were down about 3 percent from the year-ago period to $205.9 million during the October quarter. The company’s net loss widened to $3.4 million from a year earlier.
Schoenfeld said at the time of the last financial report “while there is no shortage of challenges still to overcome, we believe that our best brands and great style positioning is creating something distinctly relevant amidst a very crowded marketplace.”