Express narrows comparable sales decline in FY17

Express, Inc. reported net sales increase of 2 percent to 693.8 million dollars from 678.8 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2016 with a benefit of 26 million dollars from an extra week. Comparable sales including ecommerce sales decreased 1 percent compared to a 13 percent decrease in the fourth quarter of 2016. For the full year, net sales decreased 2 percent to 2,138 million dollars with extra week benefit of 26 million dollars. Comparable sales including ecommerce sales decreased 3 percent, compared to a 9 percent decrease in 2016.

Commenting on the company’s performance, David Kornberg, the company's President and CEO, said in a press statement: "While our overall 2017 full year results were below plan, our performance showed improvement over the course of the year, as our key initiatives gained traction. Since our board authorized a 150 million dollars share repurchase program in November, we have repurchased 25 million dollars or 3.2 million shares, underscoring our confidence in the business and commitment to driving shareholder value."

Express ecommerce sales up 20 percent in Q4, 23 percent in FY17

Ecommerce sales for the quarter increased 20 percent to 203.3 million dollars and on a comparable sales basis, ecommerce sales increased 17 percent. There was a 160 basis point increase in gross margin, representing 30 percent of net sales compared to 28.4 percent in last year’s fourth quarter.

Full year ecommerce sales increased 23 percent to 509 million dollars from 413.4 million dollars in 2016. On a comparable sales basis, e-commerce sales increased 22 percent in 2017.

Operating income was 44.2 million dollars or 6.4 percent of net sales, compared to 38.8 million dollars or 5.7 percent of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income was 29.4 million dollars or 0.37 dollar per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, net income was 26.8 million dollars or 0.34 dollar per diluted share compared to 22.8 million dollars or 0.29 dollar per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Operating income for the year was 29.7 million dollars and on an adjusted basis was 53.9 million dollars in 2017. This compared with 103.6 million dollars in 2016. Net income was 19.4 million dollars or 0.25 dollar per diluted share, compared to 57.4 million dollars or 0.73 dollars per diluted share in 2016. On an adjusted basis, net income was 28.4 million dollars or 0.36 dollar per diluted share, compared to 64.3 million dollars or 0.81 dollar per diluted share in 2016.

Express expects Q1 net loss of 3 mn dollars

For the first quarter of fiscal 2018, Express expects to report comparable sales between negative to positive 1 percent against 10 percent rise last year, net loss of 3 million dollars compared to 2.7 million dollars, and diluted loss per share in the range of 0.04 to 0.00 dollars against 0.03 dollar last year.

For fiscal 2018, the company anticipates comparable sales to range between negative 1 percent to positive 1 percent against a decline of 3 percent last year. Net income to range between 25 to 28 million dollars against 18.9 million dollars and diluted earnings per share between 0.32 to 0,46 dollars compared to 0.24 dollar last year.

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