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Stage Stores Reports Record Second Quarter Earnings; EPS Grows 28%; Company Raises 2012 Guidance

Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SSI) today reported net income for the second quarter ended July 28, 2012 of $11.7 million, or $0.37 per diluted share. This compares to earnings of $0.29 per diluted share last year.

Diluted earnings per share for the first six months of the fiscal year, which include one-time charges of approximately $0.06 per share recorded in the first quarter associated with the resignation of the Company’s former Chief Executive Officer, were $0.36 compared to $0.27 in the same period last year. Excluding the one-time charges, diluted earnings per share increased 56% to $0.42.

As previously reported by the Company, sales for the second quarter were $382 million as compared to sales of $353 million last year. Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 5.4%. For the first six months of the fiscal year, the Company reported total sales of $747 million and a comparable store sales increase of 4.0%.

Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased with our second quarter results. Driven by our 5.4% same store sales increase and improvements in merchandise margins, EPS increased 28%. Strong full-price sales and lower markdowns resulted in higher average prices, and benefited both sales and merchandise margins in the quarter.”

Mr. Glazer concluded, “Heading into the back half of the year, we are encouraged by the momentum behind the business and the initiatives underway to bring even more excitement and appeal to our merchandise, stores and marketing. We are also very pleased with our new Private Label Credit Card Plan Agreement, which we executed last week and which extends our partnership with Alliance Data for another nine years. We look forward to collaborating with them to enhance our private label credit card program, strengthen the relationship with our customers and profitably grow sales.”

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