(RTTNews) Stage Stores Inc. (SSI) lifted its sales forecast and reaffirmed its earnings guidance for fiscal 2012, reflecting its first quarter performance.
For fiscal 2012, the company currently projects sales to range between $1.59 billion and $1.62 billion from its March forecast of $1.58 billion - $1.61 billion. Five Wall Street analysts have a consensus revenue estimate of $1.59 billion.
Comparable store sales are now expected to be in the range of 0.8% - 2.4% from the previously communicated range of flat – up 2.0%.
The company noted that in the second quarter, it will benefit from a shift of a Mother’s Day event into May this year from April last year.
In addition, Stage Stores reaffirmed its annual earnings forecast of $1.02 - $1.14 per share, which now includes the one-time charges recorded in the first quarter of $0.06 per share.
On average, 6 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.11 per share. Analysts' estimate typically exclude certain special items.
Earnings per share projections for the year reflects the impact of shares repurchased in the first quarter with no benefit factored in for shares that may be repurchased during the remaining three quarters of the year.
The company also reported a narrower loss for the first quarter, totaling $418 thousand or $0.01 per share, compared to a loss of $461 thousand or $0.01 per share in the prior year period.
The latest first quarter results encompassed one-time charges of about $3 million or $0.06 per share, associated with the resignation of its former Chief Executive Officer.
Excluding charges, adjusted net income for the quarter was $1.4 million or $0.05 per share. Analysts expected the company to report loss of $0.02 per share.
Quarterly net sales grew to $365.69 million from the previous year's $346.48 million. Wall Street analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $364.27 million.
Commenting on the Company's first quarter results, Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Comparable store sales increased 2.5%, merchandise margins improved by 55 basis points and expenses were well managed. Reflecting the quarter's higher sales and improved margins, earnings per share, excluding the one-time charges, grew by 6 cents over last year. The increase over last year is even more meaningful when you consider that last year had an income tax benefit of $0.8 million, or 2 cents per share.”