It could have been a better day for the teen retailers.
This story first appeared in the December 4, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Those that reported third-quarter results — Abercrombie & Fitch, Claire’s Stores, Aéropostale and Pacific Sunwear — all showed that there’s still much work to be done in the fourth quarter and beyond to turn their fortunes around. While the three public firms met Wall Street’s expectations, only Pacific Sunwear managed to report a comparable-store sales gain.
On a busy day for third-quarter numbers, others reporting included Guess, G-III Apparel and PVH. Here, a look at the figures:
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO.
The teen retailer posted results that managed to beat Wall Street estimates, but then cut guidance for the full fiscal year as it expects a “difficult” fourth quarter.
For the three months ended Nov. 1, the company posted net income of $18.2 million, or 25 cents a diluted share, against a net loss of $15.6 million, or 20 cents, a year ago. Net sales were down 11.8 percent to $911.5 million from $1.03 billion last year. Comparable-store sales were down 6 percent for the core Abercrombie brand, down 10 percent for Abercrombie kids and down 12 percent for the Hollister nameplate. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share was 42 cents, excluding certain costs. Wall Street analysts were expecting 41 cents a share on an adjusted basis on sales of $916 million.
Michael Jeffries, chief executive officer, said during the conference call to Wall Street analysts that its fashion merchandise has showed some signs of resonating with teens and that the company continues “consciously to underbuy it.”
CLAIRE’S STORES INC.
Claire’s Stores Inc. saw third-quarter losses grow on reduced revenues as strength in accessories was insufficient to overcome weakness in jewelry.
The Chicago-based operator of Claire’s and Icing stores in North America and Europe reported a net loss of $26.8 million for the three months ended Nov. 1 on sales that slipped 1.8 percent to $350.7 million. The loss a year ago was $25.5 million on sales of $356.9 million. Overall comps fell 1.4 percent. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declined 7.2 percent to $50.7 million from $54.6 million a year ago.
Beatrice Lafon, ceo, said that while accessories was performing well, jewelry’s share of the business fell to 52 percent in North America and decreased to 38.7 percent in Europe.
Aéropostale Inc. managed to meet third-quarter consensus estimates as its ceo Julian R. Geiger acknowledged that the steps taken since his return are just “small, but measurable steps in the right direction.”
For the quarter ended Nov. 1, the net loss widened to $52.3 million, or 66 cents a diluted share, from a loss of $25.6 million or 33 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the net loss was $35.2 million or 45 cents. Sales fell 12 percent to $452.9 million from $514.6 million as comps dropped 11 percent. Wall Street was expecting an adjusted EPS of 45 cents on sales of $444.7 million.
The company expects fourth-quarter operating losses in the range of $28 million to $34 million, or a diluted EPS loss of 37 cents to 44 cents.
Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. posted third-quarter results that beat Wall Street’s estimates, as well as positive same-store sales for the period.
For the three months ended Nov. 1, the company posted a net loss of $469,000, or 1 cent a diluted share, against net income of $17.2 million, or 23 cents, a year ago. Net sales were up 4.7 percent to $212.3 million from $202.8 million. The adjusted loss, including in part one-time charges, was 3 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 4 cents on an adjusted basis on sales of $208 million.
Gary H. Schoenfeld, president and ceo, said, “With 11 straight quarters of positive comp stores sales, I believe that our elevated merchandising assortments featuring a select number of leading lifestyle brands is resonating with customers…”
Guess posted a smaller-than-expected decline in third-quarter profits, but missed revenue estimates and offered a sober view of the fourth quarter.
In the three months ended Nov. 2, the Los Angeles-based jeanswear firm recorded a 38.9 percent drop in net income to $20.8 million, or 24 cents a diluted share, from $34 million, or 40 cents, reported last year. Revenues were down 3.9 percent to $589.9 million from $613.5 million. Analysts were expecting EPS of 18 cents on sales of $595.3 million.
“In North America, store traffic and the promotional environment remained headwinds,” said Guess’ ceo Paul Marciano. While e-commerce gained 38.4 percent to $17 million in North America, overall trends on the continent “have softened compared to the third quarter. In Europe, softer traffic in the third quarter drove lower retail sales than expected. However, trends have improved so far in the fourth quarter.”
Guess expects EPS of between 53 and 63 cents on revenues of $695 million to $710 million. Prior to the earnings report, analysts on average expected EPS of 69 cents on revenues of $747.1 million.
G-III APPAREL GROUP LTD.
G-III finished the third quarter ended Oct. 31 on a strong note, with net income rising 35.3 percent to $80.6 million, or $3.53 a diluted share, from $59.6 million, or $2.85, in the 2013 quarter. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $3.09. Revenues were up 21.5 percent to $812.3 million from $668.7 million a year ago, with the increase at 11.9 percent when the $66 million contribution of Bass, acquired from PVH Corp. in November 2013, is subtracted. Analysts were expecting EPS of $2.89 on revenues of $802.2 million.
Morris Goldfarb, chairman, president and ceo, told analysts on a conference call that the New York-based firm, which attributed about 60 percent of its third-quarter wholesale revenues to outerwear, had benefitted from the catalyst of “early cold weather across nearly the entire country.”
PVH topped profit expectations, but trimmed its outlook for the year, citing the negative impact of currency fluctuations.
PVH’s net income for the period ended Nov. 2 rose 14.7 percent to $225.7 million, or $2.71 a diluted share, from $196.7 million, or $2.37, a year earlier. Excluding costs associated with the Warnaco acquisition and other items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $2.56 — 8 cents above the $2.48 analysts projected. Revenues for the quarter slipped 1.2 percent to $2.23 billion from $2.26 billion. Revenues in the Calvin Klein business rose 2 percent to $816 million, while the Tommy Hilfiger business grew by 1 percent to $930 million. Foreign-currency translation took a roughly $30 million bite out of third-quarter revenues.
Chairman and ceo Emanuel Chirico said, “We continue to plan the fourth quarter prudently.” He added that the company revised full-year earnings per share guidance to $7.25 to $7.30, due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar. That’s a cut from the $7.30 to $7.40 the company projected in September.