Citi Trends, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRN) today reported unaudited sales results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 29, 2011.
Total sales in the 13-week period ended January 29, 2011 increased 1.3% to $172.0 million compared with $169.8 million in the 13-week period ended January 30, 2010. Comparable store sales decreased 11.4% in the fourth quarter. By month, comparable store sales were down 2.6% in November, 10.7% in December and 23.5% in January. The decline in December was due largely to a delay of the government’s distribution of extended unemployment benefits until just before Christmas, a significant shortfall in sales of long denim, and a heavy promotional environment that included going-out-of-business sale events by a competitor. Similar to fiscal 2008 and 2009, January sales were negatively impacted by a continued shift of income tax refunds due to a lack of refund anticipation loan availability for the Company’s customers. Comparable store sales began to decline 40% to 50% in the third week of January and continued at that pace until the Internal Revenue Service began sending refunds on January 28, 2011. Since that date, customers have begun shopping Citi Trends’ stores with their refund money and we anticipate an improvement in the sales trend in February.
For the year, total sales increased 12.8% to $622.5 million compared with $551.9 million in fiscal 2009. Comparable store sales decreased 1.8% for the full year.
The Company stated that, although the year-end closing process has just begun, based on the negative fourth quarter comparable store sales results and the impact from clearance markdowns needed to keep inventory clean and current, earnings are expected to be approximately $1.30 per diluted share for the full year.The Company will report complete financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 before the market opens on March 11, 2011. Citi Trends will host a conference call on the same day at 9:00 a.m. ET. The number to call for the live interactive teleconference is (212) 231-2901. A replay of the conference call will be available until March 18, 2011, by dialing (402) 977-9140 and entering the passcode, 21510236.