Stage Stores, Inc. recorded a 3.8% decrease in December sales to $260.3 million from $270.5 million in the prior year period. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 7.1% versus an increase of 2.2% last year.
Comparable Store Sales Trend
|Fiscal Period||% Increase (Decrease)||($ in Millions)|
|Year-To-Date (11 Mos)||(1.2||)||3.3||1,463.5||1,450.7|
Jim Scarborough, chairman and CEO, commented, “Our December sales results were negatively impacted by the calendar shift, which was anticipated, as well as the effects of the challenging retail environment.
“Based upon our sales results for November and December, and our belief that the retail environment will continue to be challenging during January, we now project that our comparable store sales for the fourth quarter will be down in the low to mid single digit range, and our earnings for the quarter will be in a range of $0.76 to $0.81 per diluted share. This compares to our previous forecast for the fourth quarter of flat comps and earnings of $0.80 to $0.85 per diluted share. Our revised earnings per share estimates reflect the beneficial impact of our recently completed $50 million stock repurchase program. We plan to provide an update of our forecast when we report our January sales results in early February,” Mr. Scarborough concluded.
Updated Fourth Quarter and Full Year Guidance
4th Quarter 2007:
The company provided the following updated guidance for the fourth quarter ending February 2, 2008:
|4Q 2007 OUTLOOK||4Q 2006 ACTUAL|
|Net Income ($mm)||$||31.0||–||$||33.0||$39.6|
|Diluted Shares (m)||40,600||44,954|
The company provided the following updated guidance for the 2007 fiscal year ending February 2, 2008 to reflect its updated fourth quarter guidance:
|FY 2007 OUTLOOK||FY 2006 ACTUAL|
|Net Income ($mm)||$||52.4||–||$||54.4||$55.3|
|Diluted Shares (m)||42,756|
For the full 2007 fiscal year, the company is currently expecting that its comparable store sales will be down in the low-single-digit range.