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Stage Stores completes Stock Repurchase Program
Jan '08
Stage Stores Inc reported that its total sales for the five-week December period beginning December 2, 2007 and ending January 5, 2008 decreased 3.8% to $260.3 million from $270.5 million in the prior year five-week December period beginning November 26, 2006 and ending December 30, 2006. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 7.1% versus an increase of 2.2% last year.

Jim Scarborough, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our December sales results were negatively impacted by the calendar shift, which was anticipated, as well as the effects of the challenging retail environment.

“Based upon our sales results for November and December, and our belief that the retail environment will continue to be challenging during January, we now project that our comparable store sales for the fourth quarter will be down in the low to mid single digit range, and our earnings for the quarter will be in a range of $0.76 to $0.81 per diluted share.

This compares to our previous forecast for the fourth quarter of flat comps and earnings of $0.80 to $0.85 per diluted share. Our revised earnings per share estimates reflect the beneficial impact of our recently completed $50 million stock repurchase program. We plan to provide an update of our forecast when we report our January sales results in early February,” Mr. Scarborough concluded.

For the full 2007 fiscal year, the Company is currently expecting that its comparable store sales will be down in the low single digit range.

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