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Stage Stores Q1’FY14 comparable store sales remain stable

May 21, 2014 (United States Of America)

Stage Stores, Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter ended May 3, 2014. Total sales from continuing operations for the first quarter were $372 million. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 0.2%.
 
The Company noted that its cosmetics, children’s, misses sportswear and footwear categories all had comparable store sales increases for the quarter. Geographically, the Northwest, Southwest and Southeast regions all outperformed.
 
The Company reported a loss for the quarter from continuing operations of $12.0 million, or $0.38 per share. Results from continuing operations exclude the sale of the Steele’s division that was completed on March 7, 2014.
 
Commenting on the Company’s first quarter results, Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Comparable store sales were flat in a volatile first quarter, marked by a highly promotional retail environment and unseasonable weather. Our results were also impacted by our sales mix for the quarter, which was heavily weighted with clearance goods. While this hurt our gross margin, we feel very good about our inventory content heading into the rest of the year.”
 
Reported Results
Including discontinued operations, the Company reported a net loss for this year’s first quarter of $18.8 million, or $0.60 per share. For last year’s first quarter, including discontinued operations and one-time items, the Company reported a net loss of $6.9 million, or $0.21 per share. One-time items recorded in the prior year were associated with the consolidation of the Company’s South Hill, Virginia operations into its Houston headquarters and totaled approximately $9.7 million, or $0.19 per share.
 
Full Year 2014 Guidance
The Company is maintaining its comparable store sales guidance range for the year of flat to up 2%, as well as its EPS guidance range from continuing operations of $1.25 to $1.35.
 
Store Activity
The Company reported that it opened seven new stores and closed two stores during the first quarter. Bealls stores were opened in Truth or Consequences, NM and Carson City and Fallon, NV; Goody’s stores were opened in Beaver Dam, KY and Sylacauga, AL; and Peebles stores were opened in Wadsworth, OH and Waynesburg, PA. The Company also installed 13 Estee Lauder and 13 Clinique counters during the quarter.
 
About Stage Stores
Stage Stores, Inc. operates primarily in small and mid-sized towns and communities. Its stores, which operate under the Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage names, offer moderately priced, nationally recognized brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear for the entire family. The Company currently operates 853 stores in 40 states. The Company also has an eCommerce website.
 

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