Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SSI) today reported a net loss for the third quarter ended October 27, 2012 of $8.9 million, or $0.28 per share. This compares to a net loss of $11.3 million, or $0.36 per share, for the prior year third quarter.
For the first three quarters of the fiscal year, the Company earned $0.08 per diluted share versus a net loss of $0.05 per share in the same period last year. Excluding the 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, the Company earned $0.14 per diluted share.
As previously reported by the Company, sales for the third quarter were $371 million as compared to sales of $333 million last year. Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 8.1%. For the first three quarters of the fiscal year, the Company reported total sales of $1,118 million and a comparable store sales increase of 5.3%.
Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The third quarter was another outstanding quarter for our company as sales grew, our bottom-line improved and notable progress was made on our strategic initiatives. We achieved a strong 8.1% comparable store sales increase during the quarter as every merchandise category and every region of the country posted a same store sales gain. Our comparable store sales increase, combined with a 30 basis points improvement in the gross profit rate and 110 basis points reduction in the SG&A expense rate, enabled us to achieve a 22% improvement in our per share results.
“During the quarter, we built on the excitement in our stores with new brands, desirable merchandise and compelling promotional events. Our Direct-To-Consumer sales increased 66% over last year and we expect this business to exceed $25 million in sales for the year. In addition, our new store growth continued as we opened ten traditional stores and nine Steele’s stores.”