Stein Mart Prepares For Merger After Flat Q4

As the off-price retailer prepares for the closing of a pending merger agreement, Stein Mart reported fairly flat net sales and comparable store sales in the fourth quarter.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2019 ended February 1 were $336.6 million compared to $340.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2018. Comparable sales for the fourth quarter increased 0.1%. Omni sales, defined as all online sales regardless of fulfillment channel, increased 7% over last year’s fourth quarter. Net loss for the fourth quarter was $0.3 million or $0.01 per diluted share for 2019 compared to net income of $3.7 million or $0.08 per diluted share for 2018.

For the fiscal year, net sales decreased 3% to $1.22 billion while comparable sales decreased 1.4% to last year. Omni sales increased 11% over 2018. Net loss for the fiscal year was $10.5 million or $0.22 per diluted share for 2019 compared to a net loss of $6.2 million or $0.13 per diluted share for 2018.

As announced in January, Stein Mart has entered into a definitive merger agreement under which an affiliate of Kingswood Capital Management will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Stein Mart not already beneficially owned by affiliates of Jay Stein, Stein Mart’s former CEO and current chairman of the board of directors, and related investors for $0.90 per share in cash. As part of the merger, an entity managed by Jay Stein will contribute its equity and, following the closing of the merger, will indirectly own one-third of Stein Mart after closing.

The merger, which is expected to be completed in the first half of calendar year 2020, is subject to approval by Stein Mart’s shareholders and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Stein Mart will become a privately held company.