Women's apparel retailer,
) recently came up with lower-than-expected preliminary sales
results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Net sales for the
quarter are anticipated to be $608 million, which is below the
company's earlier forecast of $625 million and the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $612 million.
The trimmed sales projection now portrays a decline of 1% in
comparable-store sales (comps), significantly down from its
previously forecasted range of mid-single-digit growth. Weak
sales at LOFT stores during the holiday season and Superstorm
Sandy in the Northeast region negatively impacted the company's
sales. The company stated that comps at the company's Ann Taylor
brand stores inched up 1% while it declined 2% at LOFT
Gross margin for the quarter is expected to expand 10 basis
points (bps) on a year-over-year basis to 49.0% but will remain
below the company's earlier expectation of 51.0% primarily due to
increased promotional activities during December and January.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses for
the quarter is anticipated to be $297 million, lower than the
company's previous forecast of $300 million.
However, despite ANN's below-than-expected fourth-quarter
preliminary sales results, the company is anticipating to post
record earnings per share results for fiscal 2012 on the back of
strong sales and improved operating margin.
Net sales for fiscal 2012 are expected to increase by 7.4% to
$2.376 billion from $2.212 billion in fiscal 2011. However, net
sales will remain below the company's guidance of $2.395 billion
as well as Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.377 billion.
Gross margin for the fiscal is anticipated to come in at
54.8%, slightly below the company's earlier expectation of 55.0%.
SG&A expenses are projected to be $1.136 billion compared
with the company's prior guidance of $1.140 billion. Capital
expenditure are expected to touch $155 million, lower than ANN's
forecast of $160 million.
During the fiscal, ANN repurchased 4.9 million shares for a
total sum of $135 million. Of the total shares repurchased during
the fiscal, 1.8 million shares were bought back during the fourth
quarter at a cost of $60 million.
ANN is expected to announce its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2012
results before the markets open on Friday, Mar 8, 2013.
Currently, the company holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Other Stocks to Consider
However, not all the apparel retailer stocks are performing as
poorly as ANN. Some of the company's peers, which will announce
their fourth-quarter results in near term, are expected to report
better-than-expected quarterly results.
Foot Locker, Inc.
) has an Earnings ESP of +1.39% and carries a Zacks Rank #1
Abercrombie & Fitch Company
) with an Earnings ESP of +5.18% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Urban Outfitters Inc.
) with an Earnings ESP of +1.82% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Our proven model shows that a company may beat the earnings if
it has the right combination of two key components - Positive
Earnings ESP (Read:
Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method
) and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 and #3.
ABERCROMBIE (ANF): Free Stock Analysis Report
ANN INC (ANN): Free Stock Analysis Report
FOOT LOCKER INC (FL): Free Stock Analysis
URBAN OUTFITTER (URBN): Free Stock Analysis
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