Stage Stores total sales for the five-week period ended July 3, 2004 increased 38.6% to $100.1 million from $72.2 million in the prior year five-week period ended July 5, 2003. Comparable store sales decreased 2.5% versus a decrease of 2.7% last year. The Company noted that the increase in total sales resulted primarily from the inclusion of the Peebles stores in this year's results, as well from the sales generated by the 18 net new stores that have been added subsequent to June of last year.
The Company further reported that its accessories, footwear, men's, misses sportswear and special sizes departments had comparable store sales increases during the month.
Jim Scarborough, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our results for the five-week June period were impacted by unseasonably cool weather and torrential rains that persisted in our South Central market area over the last half of the month. Although we are disappointed with our June sales performance, we believe that the factors affecting our business were external and short term in nature. As a result of our lower than anticipated June sales, our focus during July will be on the timely liquidation of our spring and summer goods. Accordingly, we will increase our markdown activity during the remainder of the quarter.”
The Company currently anticipates that revenues for the second quarter will be in a range of $277 to $281 million, which envisions a comparable store sales decline in the low to mid single digit range. The Company anticipates that its net income for the second quarter will be in a range of $5.6 to $6.8 million, or $0.28 to $0.34 per diluted share, using an estimated diluted share count of 20.1 million shares. It should be noted that the Company's sales and earnings outlook for the quarter reflects the significant negative impact of the calendar shift in the Texas sales tax holiday weekend from the second quarter of last year to the third quarter of this year.
The Company stated that, among other things, its revised guidance for the second quarter reflects a shift in the timing of markdowns in its Peebles division from the third to the second quarter, which accounts for approximately $0.10 of the total anticipated reduction in diluted earnings per share from its initial guidance for the period. As a result, the Company expects an improvement of the same amount in its third quarter earnings.
The Company currently anticipates that revenues for fiscal 2004 will be in a range of $1,225 to $1,243 million, which envisions a comparable store sales increase in the low to mid single digit range for the last two quarters of the year. The Company anticipates that its net income for fiscal 2004 will be in a range of $54.0 to $58.0 million, or $2.70 to $2.90 per diluted share, using an estimated diluted share count of 20.0 million shares.
SALES SUMMARY Comparable Store Sales Trend Total Sales % Increase (Decrease) ($ in Millions) ---------------------- --------------- Fiscal Period 2004 2003(a) 2004 2003 ------------- ---- ------- ---- ---- 1st Quarter 4.5% (6.8)% $289.7 $198.0 May 1.0 (5.4) 90.6 65.0 June (2.5) (2.7) 100.1 72.2 2nd Qtr-To-Date (0.9) (4.0) 190.7 137.2 Year-To-Date 2.3 (5.6) 480.4 335.2