Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SSI) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 1, 2014. The Company reported adjusted earnings for fiscal 2013, excluding one-time items and the loss associated with the Steele’s division, of $1.22 per diluted share compared to $1.44 per diluted share for fiscal 2012. The Company has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of the Steele’s division, which it expects to consummate during the first quarter of 2014.
Michael Glazer, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Stage Stores had many accomplishments in 2013 that will contribute to our future profitability and growth. A few of the year’s highlights included:
- consolidating our South Hill buying office into our Houston headquarters,
- replatforming of our eCommerce website, which contributed to a 31% increase in direct-to-consumer sales,
- adding several high profile brands across merchandise categories,
- growing our private label credit card penetration rate by 290 basis points, and
- continuing to grow our cosmetics business.
In addition to our many accomplishments, we also increased our quarterly dividend rate by 25%, continuing with our long tradition of returning capital to our shareholders.”
The Company follows the retail reporting calendar, which included an extra week of sales in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the 13-week fourth quarter of 2013, the Company reported total sales, excluding Steele’s, of $493 million compared to $519 million for the 14-week fourth quarter of 2012. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 3.4%; however, many retailers report comparable store sales on a shifted calendar, which excludes the first week of the 2012 fiscal quarter. On this shifted basis, comparable store sales decreased 1.1% for the quarter.
Cosmetics, footwear, children’s, related sportswear, plus sizes and men’s businesses all performed better than the Company average for the quarter. Geographically, the South Central and Northwest regions outperformed.