Shares of Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) soared in Tuesday's pre-market session after the parent company of Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant beat Wall Street’s expectations on revenue and profit for its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, fueled by booming sales at LOFT.
For its fiscal fourth-quarter, the Mahwah, New Jersey-based company reported adjusted earnings of $0.07 per share on revenue of $1.77 billion, which whizzed past the consensus estimate of $0.03 on revenue of $1.62 billion.
The retailer’s fiscal fourth quarter performance was also much improved from the year-ago period as its net income came in at $33.2 million, or $0.17 per share, compared with losses of $15.8 million or $0.08 in the year-ago period.
Comparable sales were up 7% at LOFT and 1% at Ann Taylor and together the two premium women’s fashion brands posted net sales of $620.4 million. Lane Bryant’s same-store sales were 2% higher and its revenue came in at $294.5 million. The lone negative performance was a 5% fall in same-store sales at Dressbarn, which still produced revenue of $239.1 million in the quarter.
“Our fourth quarter reflected sequential comparable improvement across all our brands, and the first enterprise-level positive comparable quarter for Ascena since the second quarter of fiscal 2015,” noted CEO Dave Jaffe in a statement.
Investors welcomed the results and sent Ascena shares up 9.7% to $4.40 in Monday’s after-hours session and another 10% to $4.78 before Tuesday's opening bell.
For the fiscal first quarter, the company expects its non-GAAP results to range from a loss of $0.04 per share to earnings of $0.06 per share on revenue of $1.54 billion to $1.56 billion. Ascena also expects full-year revenue to fall in the range of $6.45 billion to $6.55 billion.
Ascena closed a net 185 stores during fiscal 2018 as part of its efforts to streamline its operations.
For the year, the company said its loss narrowed to $39.7 million or $0.20 per share. Revenue came in at $6.58 billion.