For the thirty-nine weeks ended October 28, 2017, the company reported net income of $73.0 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, compared to net income of $77.7 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, for the thirty-nine weeks ended October 29, 2016.
For the third quarter of fiscal 2017, net sales were $532.3 million compared to $596.9 million in last year's third quarter. This decrease of 10.8 per cent primarily reflects a comparable sales decline of 8.2 per cent, driven by lower average dollar sale and a decline in transaction count. The comparable sales calculation excludes the negative impact of stores closed for four or more days.
The company's gross margin was $196.7 million, or 37.0 per cent of net sales, compared to $230.3 million, or 38.6 per cent of net sales, in last year's third quarter. For the third quarter, selling, general and administrative expenses were $171.4 million, or 32.3 per cent of net sales, compared to $188.4 million, or 31.6 per cent of net sales, for last year's third quarter.
"Results this quarter were in line with our expectations, and we are pleased with the progress on our strategic initiatives to better address customer needs and transform our business," said Shelley Broader, chief executive officer and president. "The company's performance shows that we are continuing to benefit from our organisational changes and our operating efficiency initiatives. We remain focused on driving top line growth and are making important improvements across our brands, including the expansion of special sizes, the broadening of omni-channel engagement and the creation of alternative sales channels to fuel growth."
For the fourth quarter of 2017, the company expects comparable sales to be down high single-digits. Net sales for the 53rd week are expected to be around $30 million. The company anticipates fourth quarter gross margin rate to be approximately edge up slightly compared to last year. It also expects fourth quarter SG&A expenses to decrease compared to last year, largely offset by costs from the 53rd week. (RR)
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