Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SSI) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 2, 2013. For the 2012 fiscal year, the Company reported adjusted earnings, excluding one-time items, of $42.6 million, or $1.33 per diluted share. This compares to earnings of $31.0 million, or $0.92 per diluted share, in fiscal 2011.
“2012 was a phenomenal year for Stage Stores and one that all of our shareholders and associates can be extremely proud of,” stated Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We achieved strong gains in sales and earnings and made significant progress on our strategic initiatives. Total sales exceeded $1.6 billion and we achieved a 5.7% increase in comparable store sales, the highest percentage increase in over 10 years. Driven by our record sales, adjusted earnings per share increased by 45% to a record $1.33.”
New store growth included 25 traditional stores and 31 Steele’s stores during the year. Direct-To-Consumer sales increased 65% over last year. A new loyalty program with enhanced cardholder benefits was introduced and new cards were reissued to more than 2 million customers. Consistent with the Company’s intent to increase distributions to its shareholders, Stage Stores quarterly dividend rate was increased by 11%.
As the Company noted in its news release on February 11, 2013, it started the process of consolidating its department store operations into its Houston corporate headquarters. The Company expects the consolidation to increase efficiency, create synergies and enhance purchasing power and sales growth. The Company projects annual savings from the consolidation to be approximately $5 million.One-time items, which total approximately $6.9 million for the year, were due to the consolidation of the Company’s South Hill, Virginia operations and the resignation of the Company’s former Chief Executive Officer in March 2012. Including these items, the Company’s net income for the fiscal year was $38.2 million, or $1.19 per diluted share. For the fourth quarter, the Company reported earnings of $35.8 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, compared to earnings of $32.7 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, for the prior year’s fourth quarter.