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Stein Mart reports Q4 & FY 07 financial results

Mar '08
Stein Mart Inc announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 2, 2008. The Company's fiscal 2007 was a 52-week year; the Company's fiscal 2006 was a 53-week year ending February 3, 2007.

For the fourth quarter of 2007, the Company incurred a net loss of $(12.1) million or $(0.30) per diluted share as compared to net income of $21.1 million or $0.48 per diluted share in 2006.

As previously reported, for the 13 weeks ended February 2, 2008, sales decreased 9.4 percent to $417.4 million from the $461.0 million for the 14 weeks ended February 3, 2007. Excluding the extra week in last year's fourth quarter, sales decreased 3.3 percent.

Comparable store sales for the 13 weeks ended February 2, 2008 decreased 6.2 percent from the 13 weeks ended February 3, 2007.

Gross profit decreased to $84.1 million or 20.1 percent of net sales from $135.5 million or 29.4 percent of net sales. The gross profit rate decreased primarily due to significantly higher markdowns and increased occupancy costs, slightly offset by improved markup.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $106.2 million or 25.4 percent of net sales as compared to $108.7 million or 23.6 percent of net sales during the prior year's fourth quarter.

The SG&A rate was higher due to a lack of leverage on decreased sales. Store closing and asset impairment charges of $4.7 million and $1.3 million were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2007 and 2006, respectively.

"The steep decline in business last fall required us to take an exceptional amount of markdowns in the fourth quarter to move seasonal merchandise," noted president and chief executive officer Linda M. Farthing.

"Although very costly, it did allow us to reduce our overall
inventory to levels more appropriate for this uncertain retailing climate."

For the fiscal year 2007, the Company incurred a net loss of $(4.5) million or $(0.11) per diluted share, as compared to net income of $37.2 million or $0.85 per diluted share in 2006.

As previously reported, for the 52 weeks ended February 2, 2008, net sales totaled $1.46 billion, a 2.9 percent decrease from the $1.50 billion in net sales for the 53 weeks ended February 3, 2007.

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