Shares of Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) have plummeted in premarket trading after the specialty retailer forecast a third-quarter profit of $0.16 to $0.20 cents per share. That is well off the Wall St. estimate of $0.29 cents a share. The company also now expects third-quarter comparable sales to decline in the mid single-digit range.
Michael Weiss, Chairman, President and CEO stated:
While our sales in August were in line with the expectations we provided when we introduced third quarter guidance, trends became increasingly difficult in September driven by an abrupt change in traffic. This along with increased promotional activity to maintain our inventory discipline has led to the revision in our third quarter sales and earnings guidance. We have seen traffic trends improve in the final week of September, as we conveyed a clearer pricing message to our customers. We have also experienced a favorable reaction to the new sweater styles we recently delivered in our women’s offering and continue to generate solid sales within our men’s business.
The company plans to report actual third quarter fiscal 2012 results the week of November 26, 2012. It will update its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 guidance when it reports third quarter results.
Express is down 20% to $12.00 in premarket trading, a new 52-week low if it holds. The 52-week range was $14.50 to $26.27.