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Shares of consumer electronics and furniture retailer Conn's (NASDAQ: CONN) jumped on Thursday following the company's second-quarter report. Despite a steep decline in comparable sales and results that were mixed relative to analyst estimates, the stock was up about 13% at 3 p.m. EDT.
Conn's reported second-quarter revenue of $398.2 million, up 0.5% year over year, but $15 million below the average analyst estimate. Comparable sales tumbled 5.1%, with every category of product registering a decline. Revenue from new stores was enough for Conn's to grow revenue despite this decline. Excluding product categories that were exited, comparable sales still fell by 4.6%.
Non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles)EPS came in at a loss of $0.04, down from a gain of $0.47 during the prior-year period, but $0.03 higher than analysts were expecting. On a GAAP basis, Conn's posted a loss of $0.39 per share, down from earnings of $0.45 per share during the prior-year period. Operating income from the retail segment dropped 21%, but the major driver of Conn's losses was a near-tripling of the credit segment's operating loss.
Third-quarter guidance was disappointing. Conn's expects comparable sales to decline by a high-single-digit percentage, with the company's provision for bad debts jumping to between 14.25% and 15.25% of the total customer portfolio balance on an annualized basis. That's up from 13% during the second quarter of this year and 11% during the second quarter of last year.
Despite what looks like an abysmal quarter for Conn's, investors pushed the stock higher. Perhaps investors expected the company's results or guidance to be even worse. Conn's credit business is still hemorrhaging money, and the company's efforts to fix the problem have yet to bear fruit.
Meanwhile, the retail side of the business is struggling, with new store openings barely managing to drive revenue higher. With an even larger decline in comparable-store sales coming next quarter, it's difficult to fathom why shares of Conn's are up today.
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