Stage Stores Q4 profit down 30%; selling Steele’s division

Houston – Stage Stores' fiscal fourth-quarter net income plunged 30%, stung by a charge tied to the sale of its Steele's off-price division and softer revenue. Its adjusted earnings, however, topped analysts' estimates.

Stage Stores announced that it is selling its off-price retail division Steele's to Hilco Global Retail Group in an equity deal.

For the quarter ended Feb. 1, Stage Stores earned $24.9 million, down from $35.8 million in the year-ago period.  

Revenue fell 5% to $499.4 million from $527.9 million in the year-ago period, which included an extra week of sales. Same-store sales fell 1.1%.

For the year, Stage Stores earned $16.6 million, compared with $38.2 million, in the previous year.

Annual revenue declined 1% to $1.63 billion, from $1.65 billion. Excluding Steele's, revenue totaled $1.61 billion.

In addition to the extra week in the prior fiscal year, Stage Stores also attributed declining earnings to consolidation of the company’s South Hill, Va., operations into its Houston headquarters and an impairment charge related to Steele’s.

“Stage Stores had many accomplishments in 2013 that will contribute to our future profitability and growth,” said Michael Glazer, president and CEO. “In addition to our many accomplishments, we also increased our quarterly dividend rate by 25%, continuing with our long tradition of returning capital to our shareholders.”

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