Stein Mart posted mixed results in its third quarter ended November 3, as the off-price retailer posted a comp increase on lower sales and a slightly higher net loss.
Net sales for the third quarter of 2018 were $279.1 million compared with $285.4 million for the third quarter of 2017. Comparable sales for the third quarter increased 1.4% including sales from licensed departments. E-commerce sales were up 76% over last year’s third quarter. The decrease in total net sales for the quarter reflects the closing of seven underperforming stores this year.
Net loss for the third quarter of 2018 was $16.6 million or $0.36 per share compared to a net loss of $14.6 million or $0.31 per share in 2017. Net loss for 2017 includes an income tax benefit of $10.4 million or $0.22 per share compared to no income tax benefit in 2018.
Operating loss for the third quarter was $13.4 million for 2018 compared to an operating loss of $23.9 million for 2017. Third quarter 2018 results include advisory fees related to the extension of credit agreements, as well as expenses and lower gross profit due to the impact of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, the company said.
“We are pleased with our second consecutive quarter of comparable sales increases and continued gross profit expansion driven by higher regular priced selling. Our core apparel businesses all performed very well during the quarter,” said Hunt Hawkins, CEO, Stein Mart. “While better than last year, our third quarter pre-tax operating results were lower than we expected due to disruption caused by the hurricanes and fees associated with the successful renegotiation of our credit agreements which expanded our credit limit and extended the term. We are looking forward to better comparisons against clearance selling that normalized in the fourth quarter last year. This, along with our higher gross profit rate and lower expenses have us well-prepared for a profitable fourth quarter.”