On Mar 12 apparel retailer Express, Inc. (EXPR) saw its shares fall way lower amid heavy trading, as the clothier said it expect profits to be more than halved in the current quarter. The earnings report disappointed on nearly all fronts, and was in line with overall declining sales for contemporaries in the mall retailing business.
Express has failed to recover from a major slide in December that saw the company’s valuation fall more than 25 percent. That drop can be attributed to declining sales and a lack of foot traffic in the country’s malls in which the majority of the retailer’s chains are located.
Brick-and-mortar retailers have suffered mightily as an exponentially increasing amount of the business has moved online. The sea change has damaged mall-based retailers like Express, JC Penney (JCP) and Abercrombie and Fitch (ANF) sales the most drastically, as destination shopping continues to fall out of fashion across the country.
The holiday shopping season disappointed for Express, and their guidance wasn’t any better. CEO Michael Weiss was blunt in his projections, saying "Our first-quarter guidance reflects year-to-date traffic and comparable sales as well as our belief that a material uptick in traffic is not necessarily imminent."
For their fourth quarter 2013 earnings report, Express reported a net gain of $47.93 million, or $0.57 per share, versus the net profit of $63.94 million, or $0.75 per share, from the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $715.9 million, as compared to $730.2 million from the same quarter the previous year. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.59 per share on revenues of $721.1 million.
After falling as much as 15 percent in early action, by midday trading on Mar 12 Express notched up a bit, and had fallen 12.45 percent to hit $15.97 a share.