Market Overview

Stage Stores Reports Fourth Quarter Positive Comparable Sales and EPS Improvement

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Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE:SSI) today reported results for the fourth
quarter and fiscal year ended February 3, 2018, and provided guidance
for fiscal year 2018. For the fourth quarter, comparable sales increased
1.1% and net income was $5.6 million, or $0.19 per diluted share,
compared to a net loss of $6.8 million or $0.25 per diluted share in the
fourth quarter of 2016. On an adjusted basis, including the impact of
tax matters and other items discussed below, fourth quarter net income
was $13.6 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared to net income of
$5.7 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "We are
very pleased to have ended the year with results that exceeded the high
end of our guidance and the prior year, including fourth quarter
positive comparable sales, gross margin expansion and significant net
income growth. Our fourth quarter comparable sales increase of 1.1%
reflects momentum that began in October and continued through the
remainder of the year. Fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share
improved 125% compared to last year. Our strategic initiatives designed
to drive sales, including consistent newness in our assortments and
accelerating growth in trending categories such as beauty, gifts,
footwear, and activewear, proved to be successful. Additionally, we
effectively managed promotions in a highly competitive environment, and
ended the year with our inventory levels down 5% in department stores
and the content in great shape across the entire business. The
enhancements we have made to our online business continue to deliver
results as ecommerce sales grew double digits in each quarter of fiscal
2017."

Mr. Glazer continued, "Fourth quarter merchandise margin was up 140
basis points and adjusted gross profit was up 130 basis points compared
to the fourth quarter last year. We also maintained our strong liquidity
position throughout the year, generated positive free cash flow even
after investing $47 million in acquiring selected Gordmans assets, and
ended the year with $112 million of excess availability under our
revolving credit facility. In addition, as part of our focus on
returning value to shareholders, we recently announced our 51st
consecutive quarterly cash dividend."

Fourth Quarter Results

Fourth quarter 2017 results compared to fourth quarter 2016 results were
as follows:

  • Net sales were $549 million compared to $454 million last year
  • Comparable sales increased 1.1% compared to a decline of 8.5% last year
  • Adjusted EBIT was $22.1 million compared to $13.6 million last year
  • Net income was $5.6 million compared to a net loss of $6.8 million
    last year
  • Adjusted net income was $13.6 million compared to $5.7 million last
    year
  • Earnings per diluted share were $0.19 compared to a loss per diluted
    share of $0.25 last year
  • Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $0.45 compared to $0.20 last
    year

Results for the fourth quarter 2017 reflect 14 weeks versus 13 weeks in
2016, except that comparable sales were measured over 13 weeks for both
periods. Adjusted results for the fourth quarter 2017 exclude after tax
charges associated with the South Hill distribution center closure,
store closures, impairments, pension charges, and $6.3 million or $0.21
of the impact of federal tax reform and the valuation of net deferred
tax assets. Adjusted results for the fourth quarter 2016 exclude
severance charges associated with workforce reductions, store closures,
and impairments.

2017 Results

Full year 2017 results compared to full year 2016 results were as
follows:

  • Net sales were $1,592 million compared to $1,443 million last year
  • Comparable sales declined 3.6% compared to a decline of 8.8% last year
  • Adjusted EBIT was $(29.8) million compared to $(35.0) million last year
  • Net loss was $37.3 million compared to a net loss of $37.9 million
    last year
  • Adjusted net loss was $23.0 million compared to an adjusted net loss
    of $24.1 million last year
  • Loss per diluted share was $1.37 compared to a loss per diluted share
    of $1.40 last year
  • Adjusted loss per diluted share was $0.85 compared to $0.89 last year

During 2017, the company did not open any department stores and closed
21 department stores. The company added 58 Gordmans stores during 2017.

Results for the full year 2017 reflect 53 weeks versus 52 weeks in 2016,
except that comparable sales were measured over 52 weeks for both years.
Adjusted results for the full year 2017 exclude after-tax charges
associated with the Gordmans acquisition, the South Hill distribution
center closure, store closures, impairments, pension charges, and the
impact of federal tax reform and the valuation of net deferred tax
assets. Adjusted results for the full year 2016 exclude the
consolidation of our corporate headquarters, severance associated with
workforce reductions, store closures, impairments, and other strategic
initiatives.

2018 Guidance

Regarding the company's outlook for fiscal 2018, Mr. Glazer stated, "We
are optimistic about 2018 and remain focused on building upon the
momentum we established in our department store sales. In addition, our
acquisition of Gordmans is a great opportunity for us to leverage the
strength of the off-price sector, and we plan to accelerate growth in
this business during the coming year. As a result, in 2018, we expect to
deliver positive comparable sales, significantly improve EBIT, and
generate positive free cash flow."

For fiscal 2018, the company provided the following guidance:

  • Net sales between $1,610 million and $1,640 million
  • Comparable sales of flat to an increase of 2.0%
  • EBIT between $(29) million and $(18) million
  • Net loss between $38 million and $27 million
  • Tax rate of 0%, which, when compared to 2017, is expected to
    negatively impact 2018 EPS by $0.36 to $0.52 per diluted share within
    the comparable sales and EBIT guidance ranges
  • Loss per diluted share between $1.35 and $0.95
  • Depreciation and amortization between $55 million and $60 million
  • Capital expenditures of $30 million
  • Open one Gordmans store and close 25 to 30 department stores

Conference Call / Webcast Information

The company will post a pre-recorded conference call today at 8:30 a.m.
Eastern Time to discuss its results and guidance. Interested parties may
access the company's call by dialing 866-393-5631 and providing
conference ID 6378749. Alternatively, interested parties may listen to
an audio webcast of the call through the Investor Relations section of
the company's website (corporate.stage.com)
under the "Webcasts" caption. A replay of the call will be available
online for 30 days.

About Stage Stores

Stage Stores, Inc. is a leading retailer of trend-right, name-brand
values for apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear and home goods. As
of March 8, 2018, the company operates in 42 states through 777 BEALLS,
GOODY'S, PALAIS ROYAL, PEEBLES and STAGE specialty department stores and
58 GORDMANS off-price stores, as well as an e-commerce website at www.stage.com.
For more information about Stage Stores, visit the company's website at corporate.stage.com.

Use of Adjusted (Non-GAAP) Financial Measures

The company reports its financial results in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However, management believes that
certain non-GAAP financial measures help to facilitate comparisons of
company operating performance across periods. This release includes
non-GAAP financial measures identified as "adjusted" results. A
reconciliation of all non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable
GAAP financial measures is provided in a table included with this
release.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this release are forward-looking statements within
the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and
such statements are intended to qualify for the protection of the safe
harbor provided by the Act. The words "anticipate," "estimate,"
"expect," "objective," "goal," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe,"
"will," "should," "may," "target," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook" and
similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements.
Similarly, descriptions of the company's objectives, strategies, plans,
goals or targets are also forward-looking statements. Forward-looking
statements relate to the expectations of management as to future
occurrences and trends, including statements expressing optimism or
pessimism about future operating results or events and projected sales,
earnings, capital expenditures and business strategy. Forward-looking
statements are based upon a number of assumptions concerning future
conditions that may ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Forward-looking
statements are based upon management's then-current views and
assumptions regarding future events and operating performance. Although
management believes the expectations expressed in forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its
knowledge, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and
other factors which may materially affect the company's business,
financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and
actual results may differ materially from those discussed in the
forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including,
but not limited to, economic conditions, cost and availability of goods,
inability to successfully execute strategic initiatives, competitive
pressures, economic pressures on the company and its customers, freight
costs, the risks discussed in the Risk Factors section of the company's
most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and other factors discussed from time to
time in the company's other SEC filings. This release should be read in
conjunction with such filings, and you should consider all of such
risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating
forward-looking statements.

You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. The company
undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements,
whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You
are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures the company
makes on related subjects in its public announcements and SEC filings.

(Tables to Follow)

 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations

(in thousands, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

 
    Three Months Ended
February 3, 2018   January 28, 2017
Amount   % to Sales (a) Amount   % to Sales (a)
 
Net sales $ 549,351 100.0 % $ 454,443 100.0 %
Cost of sales and related buying, occupancy and distribution expenses 412,709   75.1 % 365,538   80.4 %
Gross profit 136,642 24.9 % 88,905 19.6 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses 117,018 21.3 % 95,988 21.1 %
Interest expense 2,175   0.4 % 1,435   0.3 %
Income (loss) before income tax 17,449 3.2 % (8,518 ) (1.9 )%
Income tax expense (benefit) 11,805   2.1 % (1,674 ) (0.4 )%
Net income (loss) $ 5,644   1.0 % $ (6,844 ) (1.5 )%
 
Basic earnings (loss) per share data:
Basic earnings (loss) per share $ 0.19   $ (0.25 )
Basic weighted average shares outstanding 27,628   27,163  
 
Diluted earnings (loss) per share data:
Diluted earnings (loss) per share $ 0.19   $ (0.25 )
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding 27,628   27,163  
(a) Percentages may not foot due to rounding.
 
 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations

(in thousands, except per share data)

(Unaudited)

 
  Twelve Months Ended
February 3, 2018   January 28, 2017
Amount   % to Sales (a) Amount   % to Sales (a)
 
Net sales $ 1,592,275 100.0 % $ 1,442,718 100.0 %
Cost of sales and related buying, occupancy and distribution expenses 1,228,780   77.2 % 1,144,666   79.3 %
Gross profit 363,495 22.8 % 298,052 20.7 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses 406,206 25.5 % 356,064 24.7 %
Interest expense 7,680   0.5 % 5,051   0.4 %
Loss before income tax (50,391 ) (3.2 )% (63,063 ) (4.4 )%
Income tax benefit (13,068 ) (0.8 )% (25,166 ) (1.7 )%
Net loss $ (37,323 ) (2.3 )% $ (37,897 ) (2.6 )%
 
Basic loss per share data:
Basic loss per share $ (1.37 ) $ (1.40 )
Basic weighted average shares outstanding 27,510   27,090  
 
Diluted loss per share data:
Diluted loss per share $ (1.37 ) $ (1.40 )
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding 27,510   27,090  
(a) Percentages may not foot due to rounding.
 
 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(in thousands, except par value)

(Unaudited)

 
  February 3, 2018   January 28, 2017

ASSETS

Cash and cash equivalents $ 21,250 $ 13,803
Merchandise inventories, net 439,735 409,384
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 51,049   41,574  
Total current assets 512,034 464,761
 
Property, equipment and leasehold improvements, net 252,788 284,110
Intangible assets 17,135 15,235
Other non-current assets, net 24,449   22,883  
Total assets $ 806,406   $ 786,989  
 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

Accounts payable $ 145,991 $ 101,985
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities 67,427   66,685  
Total current liabilities 213,418 168,670
 
Long-term debt obligations 180,350 163,749
Other long-term liabilities 68,524   74,410  
Total liabilities 462,292   406,829  
 
Commitments and contingencies
 
Common stock, par value $0.01, 100,000 shares authorized, 32,806 and
32,340 shares issued, respectively
328 323
Additional paid-in capital 418,658 410,504
Treasury stock, at cost, 5,175 shares, respectively (43,298 ) (43,286 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (5,177 ) (5,648 )
(Accumulated deficit) retained earnings (26,397 ) 18,267  
Total stockholders' equity 344,114   380,160  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 806,406   $ 786,989  
 
 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(in thousands)

(Unaudited)

 
  Twelve Months Ended
February 3, 2018   January 28, 2017
Cash flows from operating activities:
Net loss $ (37,323 ) $ (37,897 )
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash provided by operating
activities:
Depreciation, amortization and impairment of long-lived assets 67,161 91,656
(Gain) loss on retirements of property, equipment and leasehold
improvements
(918 ) 296
Deferred income taxes (1,078 ) (20,224 )
Tax deficiency from stock-based compensation (4,565 )
Stock-based compensation expense 8,386 9,461
Amortization of debt issuance costs 289 229
Deferred compensation obligation 12 218
Amortization of employee benefit related costs and pension
settlement charges
1,235 897
Construction allowances from landlords 1,228 7,079
Other changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Decrease in merchandise inventories 1,419 26,612
(Increase) decrease in other assets (8,532 ) 754
Increase in accounts payable and other liabilities 43,582   9,768  
Net cash provided by operating activities 75,461   84,284  
 
Cash flows from investing activities:
Additions to property, equipment and leasehold improvements (38,630 ) (74,257 )
Proceeds from insurance and disposal of assets 2,413 1,179
Business acquisition (36,144 )  
Net cash used in investing activities (72,361 ) (73,078 )
 
Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from revolving credit facility borrowings 575,210 512,873
Payments of revolving credit facility borrowings (555,624 ) (510,011 )
Proceeds from long-term debt obligation 5,830
Payments of long-term debt obligations (6,414 ) (4,252 )
Payments of debt issuance costs (34 ) (815 )
Payments for stock related compensation (251 ) (859 )
Cash dividends paid (8,540 ) (16,656 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities 4,347   (13,890 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 7,447 (2,684 )
 
Cash and cash equivalents:
Beginning of period 13,803   16,487  
End of period $ 21,250   $ 13,803  
 
 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

(in thousands, except earnings per share)

(Unaudited)

 
  Three Months Ended   Twelve Months Ended

February 3,
2018

 

January 28,
2017

February 3,
2018

 

January 28,
2017

Net income (loss) (GAAP) $ 5,644 $ (6,844 ) $ (37,323 ) $ (37,897 )
Business acquisition costs (pretax) (110 ) 9,059
Store closures, impairments and other strategic initiatives (pretax) 1,648 19,861 2,608 21,256
South Hill distribution center closure (pretax) 828 828
Pension settlement charge (pretax) 65 438
Consolidation of corporate headquarters (pretax) 110
Severance charges associated with workforce reduction (pretax) 839 1,632
Income tax impact of above adjustments (803 ) (8,189 ) (4,979 ) (9,179 )
Valuation allowance on net deferred tax assets (tax) 6,077 6,077
Federal tax reform (tax) 255     255    
Adjusted net income (loss) (non-GAAP) $ 13,604   $ 5,667   $ (23,037 ) $ (24,078 )
 
Diluted earnings (loss) per share (GAAP) $ 0.19 $ (0.25 ) $ (1.37 ) $ (1.40 )
Business acquisition costs (pretax) 0.33
Store closures, impairments and other (pretax) 0.05 0.70 0.09 0.78
South Hill distribution center closure (pretax) 0.03 0.03
Pension settlement charge (pretax) 0.02
Consolidation of corporate headquarters (pretax)
Severance charges associated with workforce reduction (pretax) 0.03 0.06
Income tax impact of above adjustments (0.03 ) (0.29 ) (0.18 ) (0.33 )
Valuation allowance on net deferred tax assets (tax) 0.20 0.22
Federal tax reform (tax) 0.01     0.01    
Adjusted diluted earnings (loss) per share (non-GAAP)(a) $ 0.45   $ 0.20   $ (0.85 ) $ (0.89 )
(a) Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the three
months ended January 28, 2017, reflect a $0.01 adjustment
attributable to the weighted average shares outstanding used in the
computations for a GAAP net loss and non-GAAP net income. GAAP
diluted loss per share excludes the effect of potentially dilutive
shares due to a net loss for the period, whereas adjusted diluted
earnings per share includes the effect of dilutive shares due to
adjusted net income for the period.
 
 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

(in thousands) (Unaudited)

 
  Three Months Ended   Twelve Months Ended

February 3,
2018

 

January 28,
2017

February 3,
2018

 

January 28,
2017

Net income (loss) (GAAP) $ 5,644 $ (6,844 ) $ (37,323 ) $ (37,897 )
Interest expense 2,175 1,435 7,680 5,051
Income tax expense (benefit) 11,805   (1,674 ) (13,068 ) (25,166 )
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) (non-GAAP) 19,624 (7,083 ) (42,711 ) (58,012 )
Business acquisition costs (pretax) (110 ) 9,059
Store closures, impairments and other strategic initiatives (pretax) 1,648 19,861 2,608 21,256
South Hill distribution center closure (pretax) 828 828
Pension settlement charge (pretax) 65 438
Consolidation of corporate headquarters (pretax) 110
Severance charges associated with workforce reduction (pretax)   839     1,632  
Adjusted EBIT (non-GAAP) $ 22,055   $ 13,617   $ (29,778 ) $ (35,014 )
 
 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

(in thousands) (Unaudited)

 
  Three Months Ended
February 3, 2018   January 28, 2017
Amount   % to Sales (a) Amount   % to Sales (a)
Gross profit (GAAP) $ 136,642 24.9 % $ 88,905 19.6 %
Store closures and impairments 1,464   0.3 % 19,353   4.3 %
Adjusted gross profit (non-GAAP) $ 138,106   25.1 % $ 108,258   23.8 %
 
Twelve Months Ended
February 3, 2018 January 28, 2017
Amount % to Sales (a) Amount % to Sales (a)
Gross profit (GAAP) $ 363,495 22.8 % $ 298,052 20.7 %
Store closures and impairments 2,047   0.1 % 19,584   1.4 %
Adjusted gross profit (non-GAAP) $ 365,542   23.0 % $ 317,636   22.0 %
(a) Percentages may not foot due to rounding.
 
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
February 3, 2018 January 28, 2017 February 3, 2018 January 28, 2017
Selling, general and administrative expenses (GAAP) $ 117,018 $ 95,988 $ 406,206 $ 356,064
Business acquisition costs 110 (9,059 )
Store closures and other strategic initiatives (184 ) (508 ) (561 ) (1,672 )
South Hill distribution center closure (828 ) (828 )
Pension settlement charge (65 ) (438 )
Consolidation of corporate headquarters (110 )

Severance charges associated with workforce reduction

  (839 )   (1,632 )
Adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses (non-GAAP) $ 116,051   $ 94,641   $ 395,320   $ 352,650  
 
 

Stage Stores, Inc.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

(in millions) (Unaudited)

 
  2018 Guidance
Low   High
Net loss (GAAP) $ (38 ) $ (27 )
Interest expense 9 9
Income tax    
EBIT (non-GAAP) $ (29 ) $ (18 )
 

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