Stein Mart posted a deeper third quarter net loss, with a comp sales decline amid the hurricanes that impacted parts of the country.
For the third quarter ended October 28, Stein Mart recorded a net loss of $14.6 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $11 million, or 24 cents per diluted share in the 2016 period. An analyst average estimate published by MarketBeat called for a loss of 21 cents per diluted share.
Comparable store sales were down 6.9% for the quarter versus the period a year prior. Stein Mart posted a third quarter total sales decrease of 4.7% to $285.4 million. About one-third of the chain suffered closures or reduced hours as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma during the third quarter, the company noted.
“We ended the quarter well with comparable store sales improving to flat for the month of October with slightly positive traffic,” said Hunt Hawkins, Stein Mart CEO. “This is a reflection of the progress we have made on our sales-driving initiatives. Operating with lower inventory levels is resulting in better merchandise margins from increased regular-priced selling and lower markdowns. Now that we have moved past the disruptions of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we expect the progress we are making with our business to be more apparent in the fourth quarter. As we continue to operate with lean inventories and reduced spending, our borrowings will be even lower by the end of the year.”