FINANCE

Wet Seal grows sales during Q2, misses estimates

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foothill Ranch, Calif. – The Wet Seal Inc. reported net sales of $137.2 million during the second quarter of fiscal 2013, a 1.5% improvement from the second quarter of the previous year. However, this figure fell a bit short of the $138.5 million analysts were expecting.

Same-store sales grew 3.7%, a substantial turnaround from an 11.1% same-store sales decline during the second quarter of fiscal 2012. E-commerce sales, which are not included in same-store sales totals, remained flat. The company expects earnings per share of about one cent, in line with previous guidance of EPS ranging from flat to two cents per share. Wet Seal will release full earnings for the quarter on Aug. 27.

“We’re pleased to see the business return to positive comp store sales, particularly against the backdrop of a challenging retail environment in June and July," said John D. Goodman, CEO of Wet Seal. "While sales trends softened during the latter months of the period, we generated positive comparable store sales each month of the quarter and achieved an improved blend of regular and promotional pricing. This enabled us to generate a substantial increase in merchandise margin versus a year ago and deliver on our previously announced expectations for earnings improvement. We also ended the quarter with inventories well-positioned entering the key back-to-school shopping period.”

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FINANCE

L Brands raises Q2 income guidance based on sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – L Brands, parent company of retail chains including Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, is raising its income guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 due to early sales results. Total revenue for July rose 4% to $678.4 million from $649.8 million, while same-store sales climbed 4%.

In addition, the company reported net sales of $2.5 billion for the second quarter, an increase of 5% compared to sales of $2.4 billion for the second quarter of last year. The company reported a same- store sales increase of 2% during the quarter, as well. L Brands now expects to report second quarter earnings per share of approximately 60 cents, up from its previous guidance of 50 cents to 55 cents and last year’s adjusted result of 50 cents.

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FINANCE

Stein Mart reports increases in total, same-store sales during Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Jacksonville, Fla. – Stein Mart reported year-over-year increases in total and same-store sales during the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Total sales grew 3.8% to $74.6 million from $70.5 million, while same-store sales increased 6.4%, compared to same-store sales growth of only 1.6% during the second quarter of the previous year.

According to Stein Mart, linens, dresses and intimate apparel posted the strongest sales for the month of July, while ladies’ special sizes, men’s sportswear, jewelry and ladies’ casual sportswear were more challenged. Geographically, July sales were strongest in Florida, the Southeast and Virginia, while the West performed slightly lower than the chain.

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