PACIFIC SUNWEAR’S QUARTER PEAKS ON 38% SALES RISE

NEW YORK — Fueled by a 38 percent leap in its sales, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported record first-quarter profits Monday for the period ended April 30.
Net income for the Anaheim, Calif.-based specialty retailer climbed to $5.8 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, compared with $4.0 million, or 13 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The 18-cents-per- share first-quarter results hit analysts’ consensus estimates right on the money.
Sales jumped 38 percent to $112.6 million from $81.4 million and grew 7.0 percent on a same-store basis.
Pacific Sunwear, a specialty retailer of everyday casual apparel, accessories and footwear designed for teens and young adults, also saw comp-store results for PacSun stores rise 6.6 percent and those for its embryonic Demo division move head 16.5 percent.
“I’m very pleased with our record first-quarter results, which has, historically, been our least-profitable quarter,” said Greg Weaver, chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “These results reflect excellent top-line and same-store sales growth and better gross margins than the first quarter last year.” He added that he was pleased with sales results at Demo and the progress being made on merchandise margins and private-brand penetration.
In addition, Weaver said online sales and progress at Pacsun.com contributed to the company’s strong first quarter.
Shares of Pacific Sunwear, which reported its earnings after the market closed, fell 13/16 to 25 3/16.
The strong but not unexpected showing by PacSun sets the stage for additional reports by specialty retailers, particularly those whose consumer focus is on the nation’s teens and young adults. Abercrombie & Fitch is expected to report after the market closes Tuesday, and optimism that the youth-driven specialty group would meet consensus estimates, which have settled in at about 16 cents a share, helped to drive A&F shares up 1 3/8, or 13.1 percent, to 11 7/8 Monday.
Looking ahead, Weaver said the company plans to open 130 new stores and relocate or expand roughly 31 of its most productive stores, for a 38 percent increase in store square footage for the year. Pacific Sunwear currently operates 421 PacSun stores, 34 PacSun outlet stores and 52 Demo stores for a total of 507 stores spanning 48 states.