U.S. retailers release mixed results in after hours

23rd May 2013, 5:20 pm by Anwar Ali
Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) confirmed investor fears, sending the stock tumbling after the company reported a first-quarter loss twice as large as expected. Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) confirmed investor fears, sending the stock tumbling after the company reported a first-quarter loss twice as large as expected.

A series of American retailers reported a mixed bag of quarterly results after the bell. 

Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) confirmed investor fears, sending the stock tumbling after the company reported a first-quarter loss twice as large as expected.

After returning to the black in the fourth quarter following three-straight losing quarters, the Sears department store holding company says it lost $279 million, or $2.63 per diluted share, compared to a profit of $189 million, or $1.78 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter.

On an adjusted basis, Sears lost $1.29 per share, versus the mean consensus of $0.60 per share.

Sears blames a cooler spring for a 3.6 per cent decline in U.S. same-store sales, while in Canada comparable store sales declined 2.6 per cent in the quarter.

"Our recent financial performance has not been acceptable, although we have seen some positive momentum," said chairman and chief executive officer Eddie Lampert in the company's statement. 

One bright spot was Sears' online performance: sales at Sears.com and kmart.com grew 20 per cent over the prior year first quarter.

Overall revenue slipped 8.8 per cent to $8.5 billion from $9.3 billion for the same prior-year period. That wasn't as steep as the 9.7 per cent slide predicted by analysts. 

The stock is tanking about 11 per cent in after hours trading to $51.75 as of 4:49 pm ET.

In clothing retail news, The Gap (NYSE: GPS) says earnings per share increased 51 per cent to $0.71 per share, compared with $0.47 last year. The result was two cents ahead of analyst expectations. 

Sales rose seven per cent to $3.7 billion, compared with $3.5 billion for the first quarter last year. 

The company reaffirmed its fiscal year 2013 earnings guidance of $2.52 to $2.60 per share.

The stock is trading slightly below Wednesday's close. 

Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) posted a net loss of $12.2 million, or $0.16 per share, a penny smaller than the analyst forecast. The teen-centric retailer earned a $0.13 per share profit a year ago. 

Revenue dropped nine per cent to $452.3 million from $497.2 million in the year ago period, compared with the $444.3 million that analysts predicted.

The stock is sliding 4.4 per cent after hours to $16.48 as of 4:44 pm ET. 

Meanwhile, investors are erasing part of Williams-Sonoma's (NYSE: WSM) three per cent gain in regular trading even as quarterly earnings beat expectations. 

What may have disappointed stockholders, though, is the second quarter guidance range of $0.43 to $0.46 per share, compared to the mean estimate of $0.48 per share. 

The analyst consensus for revenue of $932.53 million for the current quarter was within the company's own $920 million to $940 million range.

For the entire fiscal year, the analyst mean forecast for revenue of $4.25 billion falls right in the middle of Williams-Sonoma's estimated $4.2 billion to $4.3 billion range. The San Francisco-based retailer expects full-year net income to be between $2.67 to $2.77 per share, versus the $2.77 per share consensus. 

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