Why Express Shares Sank to an All-Time Low

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Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) saw its shares hit an all-time low early on Thursday after the company reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results. The net loss of $0.07 per share and $467 million in revenue compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of a net loss of $0.02 per share and $467.95 million in revenue. In the same period of last year, the retailer posted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.25 and revenue of $402.91 million.

Comparable sales (including e-commerce sales) decreased 10%, compared to a 3% decrease in the first quarter of 2016. E-commerce sales increased 27% year over year to $97.6 million.

In terms of guidance for the fiscal second quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of –$0.03 to $0.01, with comparable sales negative in the mid-single digits. The consensus estimates call for $0.08 in EPS and $498.01 million in revenue.

On the books, Express cash and cash equivalents totaled $191.0 million at the end of the quarter, up from $111.0 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

David Kornberg, president and CEO of Express, commented:

We are pleased with the recent trends in our business and believe that our initiatives are gaining traction in a challenging retail environment. E-commerce sales accelerated in the first quarter, increasing 27%, and are on track for another record year. Store performance is also showing sequential progress. This led to a comparable sales improvement as we moved through the first quarter, a trend that has continued into the second quarter.

Kornberg added:

As we look to the balance of the year, we are increasingly optimistic about our ability to drive improved performance. We are excited about our summer and fall assortments and expect continued sales momentum in our e-commerce business, along with sequential improvement in stores. Our work on customer loyalty is showing meaningful progress with improving customer acquisition trends, and our omni-channel initiatives are on track with the successful pilot of ‘ship from store’. We remain focused on carefully managing our cost base, further optimizing our store footprint, and improving profitability.

Shares of Express traded down 18% to $6.34 Thursday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $10.90 and a 52-week range of $7.43 to $16.38.