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Signet Jewelers Cracks Under Pandemic Pressure

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Boy did pandemic take the sheen off of Signet Jewelers  (SIG) - Get Signet Jewelers Limited Report.

Shares of Signet plunged on Tuesday after the company posted a wider-then-expected quarterly loss amid a dramatic drop in same-store sales related to closures of its brick-and mortar retail locations through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hamilton, Bermuda-based jewelry giant posted a fiscal 2021 first-quarter non-GAAP loss of $142.5 million, or $3.83 a share, vs. a loss of $2.6 million, or 35 cents a share, in the comparable year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a per-share loss of $2.97.

Sales under its Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared and other brands came in at $852.1 million, down 40.5% from $1.43 billion a year earlier and below the $861 million in sales expected by analysts.

Same-store sales plunged 38.9% vs. 1.3% in the same period a year ago.

The worst may be over, however. Signet said on Tuesday that it has reopened nearly 1,100 stores in the U.S. including in Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. 

As of June 2, more than three-quarters of Signet's reopened stores were open to the public.

As well, to keep those trying on those earrings or bracelets safe and secure, the company is instituting new sanitizing protocols, including having employees wear gloves and masks and use alcohol wipes to clean each piece before and after its touched by a customer. 

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