Stein Mart Q1 profit more than doubles on cost cutting
Jacksonville, Fla. Stein Mart said Thursday that its profit more than doubled in the first quarter as it significantly reduced expenses.
Stein Mart reported earnings of $16.1 million for the three months ended May 2, compared to $7 million in 2008. As previously reported, net sales for the first quarter decreased 9.2% to $319.6 million and comp-store sales dropped 8%.
Gross profit decreased to $96.8 million from $97.7 million in 2008. As a percent of net sales, gross profit increased to 30.3% from 27.8% in the same period last year. The increase in the gross profit rate resulted from increased markup and decreased markdowns, slightly offset by higher occupancy costs, the company said.
“Despite a very difficult sales environment, first-quarter earnings improved due to tightly controlled inventories that enhanced merchandise margins, and significant expense reductions; these initiatives produced a positive cash flow of $32 million and allowed us to end the period debt free,” said David H. Stovall Jr., president and CEO. “While our conservative outlook regarding the macro environment persists, we believe our re-focused brand strategy and the new marketing initiatives are beginning to gain traction, and will be key to our long-term success.”
During the first quarter of 2009, the company opened one store and closed two. At the quarter’s end, there were 275 stores in operation compared with 284 stores at the same time last year.
Target 1Q EPS down 6.8%
MINNEAPOLIS Target reported net earnings of $522 million for the first quarter ended May 2, compared with $602 million in the first quarter ended May 3, 2008. Earnings per share in the first quarter decreased 6.8% to 69 cents from 74 cents in the same period a year ago. All earnings per share figures refer to diluted earnings per share.
“Our first quarter earnings per share reflect disciplined execution of our strategy in a difficult environment,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Retail sales increased 0.4% in the first quarter to $14.4 billion in 2009 from $14.3 billion in 2008, due to the contribution from new store expansion partially offset by a 3.7% decline in comparable-store sales.
Sam’s Club offering $15 memberships
BENTONVILLE, Ark. Sam’s Club has launched a $15 membership program for the summer. The special membership is available for purchase for a limited time between May 20 and June 7, during regular club hours and extends to new Advantage and Business members. Annual membership fees start at $35.
The membership program is part of Sam’s Club’s “100 Days of Summer” campaign promoting savings and tips for enjoying the summer season.