Express's Stock Plunges After Profit And Sales Outlook Were Well Below Expectations

Shares of Express Inc. plunged 14% in premarket trade Thursday, after the apparel and accessories retailer beat fiscal third-quarter expectations but provided a downbeat outlook for the current quarter. Earnings for the quarter to Oct. 29 fell to $11.6 million, or 15 cents a share, from $26.3 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 13 cents. Revenue declined 7% to $506.1 million from $546.6 million, above the FactSet consensus of $497.1 million. Same-store sales fell 8%, but that beat the FactSet consensus for a 9.6% decline. For the fourth-quarter, the company expects EPS of 26 cents to 30 cents, well below expectations of 54 cents, and same-store sales to decline in the "negative low double digits" percentage range, while the FactSet consensus is for a decline of 7.6%. "We expect the holiday season to remain challenging as mall traffic and a highly promotional retail environment continue to be headwinds," said Chief Executive David Kornberg. The stock has tumbled 23% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 5.7% and the S&P 500 has climbed 7.6%.

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