The company reiterated its previously announced fourth quarter earnings guidance (14 weeks ending February 2, 2013) in the range of $0.23 to $0.27 per share, as compared to earnings per share of $0.21 last year. This guidance is based upon a comp sales increase in the low to mid-single-digit percentage range. In addition, the company announced initial 2013 earnings guidance (52 weeks ending February 1, 2014) to be in the range of an increase of 30 to 35% over fiscal 2012 based upon a comp sales increase in the low-single-digit range.
“We experienced the positive results from the new merchandising and sourcing strategies at Torrid this quarter, and remain enthusiastic about Torrid as a growth vehicle for Hot Topic, Inc.,” said Lisa Harper, Chairman and CEO of Hot Topic, Inc. “At Hot Topic, we continue to see strong results in the fashion apparel and tee businesses, which offset the challenges in accessories. We are excited about the prospects of our businesses in 2013. Based upon our progress and positive outlook, we continue to plan to open approximately 40 new Torrid stores, 15 new Hot Topic outlets and an additional 5 to 10 Blackheart stores in 2013.”
The company also announced the repurchase of 2,535,370 shares of its common stock in fiscal December at an average cost of $9.86 for a total of $25 million. The repurchase was pursuant to its Board of Directors’ authorization of the repurchase of up to $25 million of the company’s common stock. The company estimates that diluted shares outstanding for the fourth quarter of 2012 to be approximately 42.5 million shares and 41.5 million shares in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
Hot Topic, Inc. is a mall and web based specialty retailer operating the Hot Topic and Torrid concepts, as well as a new test retail concept, Blackheart. Hot Topic offers music/pop culture-licensed and music/pop culture-influenced apparel, accessories, music and gift items for young men and women. Torrid retails on-trend fashion apparel, lingerie and accessories inspired by and designed to fit the young, voluptuous woman who wears size 12 and up. Blackheart offers an expanded collection of dark, edgy, sexy lingerie, accessories and beauty products. As of December 29, 2012, the company operated 619 Hot Topic stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, 190 Torrid stores, 5 Blackheart stores, and Internet stores hottopic.com, torrid.com and blackheartlingerie.com.