Destination Maternity Corporation, the world's leading maternity apparel retailer, reported sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 ended December 31, 2013, and announced that it expects its first quarter fiscal 2014 earnings to be in the lower half of its prior earnings guidance range and to be somewhat higher than last year's first quarter earnings.
Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 decreased 0.3% to $134.8 million from $135.3 million reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
The slight decrease in total reported sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2013 resulted primarily from decreased sales related to the Company's continued efforts to close underperforming stores, substantially offset by the increase in comparable sales.
Ed Krell, Chief Executive Officer of Destination Maternity, noted, "In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, our sales were slightly weaker than planned, reflecting the continued challenging overall economic environment which affected many retailers in the recent holiday shopping season. In spite of the sluggish sales environment, we were able to achieve our sixth consecutive quarter of comparable sales increases.
“Our sales for the quarter were slightly below the low end of our expected sales range, but with our continued tight management of expenses, we expect our earnings for the first quarter to be between $0.30 and $0.31 per share, which is in the lower half of our prior earnings guidance range of $0.29 to $0.34 per share that we provided in our November 21, 2013 press release, and somewhat higher than our first quarter fiscal 2013 earnings of $0.29 per share.
“Our first quarter fiscal 2014 earnings per share are expected to include approximately $0.02 per share of other charges related to the previously announced relocation of our headquarters and distribution facilities. Excluding the other charges, our adjusted earnings per share for the first quarter are expected to be between $0.32 and $0.33 per share, compared to our previous guidance of adjusted earnings per share between $0.31 and $0.36 per share, and an increase over first quarter fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings per share of $0.29 per share.
"Our total sales of $134.8 million for the first quarter were slightly below the low end of our sales guidance range of $135 to $139 million provided in our November 21 press release, primarily due to our reported comparable sales increase of 0.7%, which was slightly below the low end of our guidance range for a comparable sales increase of between 1.0% and 4.0% for the quarter.
"We remain focused on driving improvement in our sales performance through initiatives to enhance our merchandise assortments, merchandise presentation, store environment and customer experience. Our progress in these sales-driving initiatives is evidenced by our six consecutive quarters of comparable sales increases, and we believe we are well positioned to continue to manage our business through this uncertain consumer environment, to continue to improve our sales performance, and to continue to make progress towards our key corporate goals."
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