FINANCE

Aeropostale predicts wider Q2 loss based on slumping sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – As a result of slumping net and same-store sales, Aeropostale is forecasting a net loss per share of between 42 cents and 44 cents during the second fiscal quarter of this year, which is 19 cents higher than the previously issued guidance. The revised estimate is based on a 6% decrease in net sales to $454 million, from $485.3 million in the year ago period.

Same-store sales, including the e-commerce channel, for the second quarter decreased by 15%. In addition, Aeropostale cited lower-than-expected income tax benefit due to a change in the estimated effective tax rate to 25% from 45% resulting from lower taxable income; an after-tax charge resulting from store asset impairment charges; and an after-tax charge as a result of the accounting effect related to retirement features of its stock based compensation plan.

“During the second quarter, we continued to experience the challenging trends we faced in the first quarter,” said Thomas P. Johnson, CEO. “Our performance was driven by an increase in promotional activity as we navigated through balancing our assortment, weak traffic trends and a challenging retail environment, particularly during the July selling period. As we reposition the Aeropostale brand, we believe our current merchandise assortment is more fashionable and relevant. Our entire organization is focused intently on accelerating customer adoption and regaining market share.”

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FINANCE

Law firm investigates Saks buyout

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Law firm Morgan & Morgan is investigating potential legal claims against the board of directors of Saks Inc. relating to the proposed acquisition of Saks by Hudson’s Bay Company. Morgan & Morgan’s investigation concerns whether Saks’ board of directors breached its fiduciary duties to act in the best interests of Saks’ shareholders and to take all necessary steps to ensure that Saks’ shareholders receive the maximum value readily available for their shares of Saks common stock.

Under the terms of the proposal, public shareholders of Saks will receive $16 per share in cash for each share of Saks they own. Morgan & Morgan says some analysts have estimated actual share value to be as high as $18.50.

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CVS/pharmacy launches online drug info center

BY Dan Berthiaume

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS is launching a new online Drug Information Center on CVS.com. This new resource was developed to help consumers take control of their health by providing them with best-in-class drug information and a variety of innovative resources.

"Our new Drug Information Center provides a comprehensive set of resources that informs and empowers our customers as they make important decisions surrounding their health and well-being," said Brian Tilzer, senior VP, chief digital officer for CVS/pharmacy. "As a pharmacy innovation company, we are constantly exploring new tools and resources to help our customers on their path to better health. With this launch, we are offering users medication expertise in a simple, interactive way that provides relevant and personalized drug information that has never been made available to them before."

Resources available from the online center include enhanced drug information and access to drug details, a drug interaction checker and a printable medicine list.

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