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Fiscal 2012 will be a year of transition at Christopher & Banks
Apr '11
Christopher & Banks Corporation announced preliminary results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended February 26, 2011. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company expects to report net sales of $99.6 million, as compared to $101.9 million in the same period last year, reflecting a 1% decline in same-store sales.

The Company also expects fourth quarter gross margin to decrease by 900 to 1,000 basis points, as compared to last year's fourth fiscal quarter, primarily due to increased markdowns. SG&A expense is expected to be approximately $35 million for the quarter. As a result, the net loss per share for the fourth quarter is expected to range from $0.47 to $0.51. Anticipated results include a pre-tax, non-cash charge associated with asset impairment for underperforming stores of approximately $2.8 million, or $0.06 per share, and an effective tax rate in the mid-to-high teens.

The Company also expects capital expenditures of approximately $9 million for fiscal 2011, and to end the fiscal year with cash, cash equivalents and investments of approximately $106 million. Inventory, excluding e-commerce inventory, is expected to increase approximately 4% on a per-store basis at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, as compared to the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

For the full fiscal year, the Company expects to report net sales of approximately $448.1 million, reflecting a 1% decline in same-store sales. The Company also expects to report a loss per share in the range of $0.62 to $0.66, which includes non-cash charges related to the recognition of a $12.9 million full valuation allowance on the Company's net deferred tax assets in the third quarter and an anticipated asset impairment charge of approximately $2.8 million in the fourth quarter.

Larry Barenbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “While we are clearly disappointed with our sales and gross margin results in the fourth quarter, the weaker than anticipated performance was largely attributable to a merchandise assortment that did not reflect our new merchandising and product strategy going forward. That said, we responded quickly and were able to reduce inventory to levels below our initial expectations, as we increased markdowns to aggressively move through product.

“We have a number of initiatives underway that we believe will better align our product styling with our customers' tastes and we expect the full benefit from these efforts to be visible beginning with our fall 2011 product offerings, which are scheduled for delivery in August. We are also focused on enhancing our customer experience and refining our marketing related initiatives to recapture our core customers' fashion dollars.”

Mr. Barenbaum continued, “Fiscal 2012 will be a year of transition at Christopher & Banks, as our primary focus is on returning the Company to profitability through improved sales and gross margin. We effectively managed inventory levels and SG&A expenses in fiscal 2011, ending the year with no long-term debt and cash, cash equivalents and investments of approximately $106 million.”

The Company is planning to report its final fiscal 2011 fourth quarter and full year results on April 14, 2011 after the market closes.

Christopher & Banks Corporation

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