Why Francesca's Is Tuesday's Top Retailer

Francesca’s may not be a household name like Walmart, Target or other major retailers. However, shares of Francesca’s Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: FRAN) were absolutely beating every other retailer in the market on Tuesday, after it announced second-quarter earnings before the opening bell.

The firm said that it had $0.72 in earnings per share (EPS) and $106.0 in revenue, which compared with $0.12 per share and $113.0 million posted in the same period of last year.

Comparable sales decreased by 5% in the latest quarter. The decrease in comparable sales was the result of lower average unit retail prices associated with deeper markdowns on legacy product. This decrease was partially offset by higher boutique conversion rates and higher average units per transaction.

In terms of its segments, the firm reported as follows:

  • Apparel sales decreased 8% year over year to $52.39 million.
  • Jewelry sales increased by 4% to $27.96 million.
  • Accessories sales decreased 6% to $16.21 million.
  • Gifts sales decreased by 25% to $8.53 million.

Michael Prendergast, interim CEO, commented:

We are very pleased to see significant improvement in our comparable sales for the second quarter. After a long period of double digit comp sales declines we achieved considerable sequential improvement in our comp sales in each month within the quarter. Gross margin was impacted by aggressive markdowns on poor performing legacy products that we accelerated within the quarter. However, we saw strong and better than expected sell through on new merchandise. … We realized material savings this quarter through a number of cost reduction initiatives that we have been executing since the beginning of fiscal 2019.

Shares of Francesca’s traded up more than 80% early Tuesday at $9.32, in a 52-week range of $2.78 to $52.92. The consensus price target is just $1.75.

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