Express gives weak 4Q outlook, cautions on holiday season




COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Express has provided a worse-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings forecast and slashed its full-year adjusted earnings outlook, while warning that the critical holiday season will "remain challenging."

Shares of the clothing and accessories company tumbled 15 percent before the market open on Thursday.

President and CEO David Kornberg said in a statement that the holiday period will be tough due to soft mall traffic and heavy promotions among retailers.

For the third quarter that ended on Oct. 29, the Columbus, Ohio-based company earned $11.6 million, 15 cents per share. That compares with $26.3 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.

Earnings, adjusted for pretax gains, were 11 cents per share. That's a penny below what analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected.

Revenue declined to $506.1 million from $546.6 million, but topped Wall Street's view. Analysts predicted $498 million in revenue, according to a Zacks survey.

Kornberg said that weaker mall traffic is impacting its stores, but that it had a double-digit increase in online sales.

Going forward, Express Inc. foresees fourth-quarter earnings in a range of 26 cents to 30 cents per share, with sales at stores open at least a year down by low double digits. Analysts expect earnings of 54 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

For the year, the retailer now anticipates full-year adjusted earnings between 78 cents and 82 cents per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings in a range of $1 and $1.14 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet are looking for full-year earnings of $1.05 per share.

Shares of Express Inc. fell $2.01, or 15 percent, to $11.35 in premarket trading about 90 minutes before the market open.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on EXPR at https://www.zacks.com/ap/EXPR

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Keywords: Express, Earnings Report
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