Stage Stores' Stock Plunges Toward Record Low After Disappointing Results, Outlook

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Stage Stores Inc. plummeted 31% in premarket trade Thursday toward a record low, after the department store chain reported a fourth-quarter profit that missed expectations and provided a downbeat outlook. The company swung to a net loss of $6.8 million, or 25 cents a share, in the quarter to Jan. 28, from a profit of $21.0 million, or 71 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share of 20 cents missed the FactSet consensus of 27 cents. Revenue fell to $454.4 million from $502.6 million, above the FactSet consensus of $449.1 million, as same-store sales dropped 8.5%. The company expects 2017 losses per share of 95 cents to $1.55, compared with the FactSet loss consensus of 35 cents a share. "Our fourth quarter adjusted earnings reflect continued challenges in our oil impacted and border states, as well as the overall soft retail environment," said Chief Executive Michael Glazer, noting that weak traffic led to heightened promotional activity and pressure on gross margins. The stock has plunged 74% over the past 12 months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has climbed 21%.

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