Stein Mart: Warm Weather Cooled Q3 Sales

Stein Mart, for the third quarter ended October 31, posted a net loss of $200,000, or one cent per diluted share, versus a net loss of $1.2 million, or three cents per diluted share, in the 2014 period. Comparable store sales decreased 2.3%, the company noted.

Adjusted net income was $600,000, or one cent per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $900,000, or two cents per diluted share, in last year’s quarter. Third quarter 2015 includes an $800,000, or one cent per diluted share, higher interest expense.

The retailer beat a Thomson Reuter’s analyst average estimate by six cents per share.

Total sales in the quarter decreased 1% to $300.7 million.

Stein Mart reported that operating income was $704,000 versus an operating loss of $1.7 million in last year’s third quarter, and adjusted operating income was $2 million versus $1.8 million in the 2014 period.

“Our third quarter sales were severely impacted by unseasonably warm weather,” said Jay Stein, the company’s CEO.” We are working to address our sales and promotional strategies for the fourth quarter to get back to more acceptable top-line results. Our sales-focused initiatives have produced strong results for more than three years and it is important that we continue to make the right long-term investments. As an example, our new store growth is already giving us excellent returns with our fall store openings delivering outstanding results.”

In addition, Stein Mart recently announced that its president and chief merchandising officer, Brian Morrow, resigned to accept a position at another company. The company has initiated a search for a new chief merchandising officer.

Stein Mart opened six new stores through this year’s third quarter for a total of 278 stores. The company said it plans to open at least 12 new stores next year with five new stores opening in the spring and the remainder in the fall.