Earnings at Express Can’t Hold Up Weak Q4 Guidance

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When Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday, the company said it had $0.15 in earnings per share (EPS) and $506.1 million in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters called for EPS of $0.13 and $497.08 million in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.31 in EPS and revenue of $546.62 million.

Comparable sales (including e-commerce sales) decreased 8%, compared to a 6% increase in the third quarter of 2015. In the same time, e-commerce sales increased 15% to $96.3 million.

In terms of guidance for the fiscal fourth-quarter, the company expects EPS to be in the range of $0.26 to $0.30, with comparable sales in the negative to low digits. The consensus estimates are $0.55 in EPS and $719.62 million in revenue for the current quarter.

On the books, Express cash and cash equivalents totaled $101.9 million, up from $91.2 million at the end of the third quarter of 2015. So far in fiscal 2016, the company has repurchased $51.5 million worth of common stock.

David Kornberg, president and CEO of Express, commented:

Our third quarter performance was highlighted by sales and earnings in line with our guidance and progress made addressing the areas noted for improvement during our second quarter call. This progress included refocusing our brand projection and marketing to be more consistent with our core demographic and additional steps taken to drive customer acquisition and retention. Notably, while mall traffic challenges continued to impact our store performance, we achieved a double digit increase in e-commerce sales.

He added:

We expect the holiday season to remain challenging as mall traffic and a highly promotional retail environment continue to be headwinds. That being said, we believe our focus and execution against our key priorities, which include driving improved profitability through a balanced approach to growth, elevating our brand and customer experience, investing in the growth and development of our associates and achieving the benefits from our systems implementations, will position our Company to create shareholder value over the long term.

Shares of Express were down about 22% at $10.43 on Thursday. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $13.62 and a 52-week trading range of $10.38 to $21.57.