Although Vince Holding Corp. posted a fourth-quarter profit increase, investors weren’t thrilled with fiscal-year 2015 guidance.
Investors sent shares of Vince down 16.4 percent to close at $17.89 in Big Board trading on Thursday.
For the three months ended Jan. 31, net income was $10.5 million, or 28 cents a diluted share, from $582,000, or 2 cents, a year ago. Net sales rose 7.9 percent to $94.7 million from $87.8 million. Comparable-store sales were up 8.7 percent. Wall Street analysts were expecting 26 cents on sales of $99 million. The company said the wholesale segment slipped 0.6 percent to $68.9 million, while the direct-to-consumer operation jumped 39.7 percent to $25.8 million.
The company completed its initial public offering in November 2013. Results on a nonadjusted basis for the same 2013 quarter include items such as public company transition costs and the inclusion of the non-Vince businesses that were separated upon completion of the IPO.
For the full year, the company posted net income of $35.7 million, or 93 cents a diluted share, against a net loss of $27.4 million, or 98 cents, in 2013. Net sales gained 18.1 percent to $340.4 million from $288.2 million.
For 2015, the company guided diluted earnings per share in the $1.00 to $1.05 range on total net sales of between $360 million to $370 million. Wall Street was projecting EPS of $1.14 on sales of $398.7 million.
Part of that difference is likely due to the wholesale strategy shifts because of changing order patterns and omnichannel at retail that executives noted on the conference call to Wall Street analysts. Company executives referred to fiscal year 2015 as a “transition year.” While Matthew R. Boss at J.P. Morgan noted that about 75 percent of revenues are from the wholesale segment, category extensions in handbags and footwear do provide some upside opportunities.
Jill Granoff, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview the company will continue to “increase full-price selling in all points of distribution through the right inventory in the right amount and at the right place.” She explained the company will have less promotions in its own stores, adding that with price-matching available through advances in digital technology, the company also plans to “keep our buys tight.”
The company also will have a new technology platform this fall that will allow it to provide a more integrated approach in marketing to its customer, such as access to past purchasing patterns and the ability to add or suggest options to update an existing wardrobe from prior seasons, Granoff said.