Thursday, March 11, 2010

Retail moves after hours. (ARO, ZUMZ)

Shares of Aeropostale (ARO) are up 5% in late trading, after they beat earnings nicely and increased expected earnings for 2010.  They now see this year's EPS coming in around $2.61 per share versus the consensus estimate at 2.48.  After netting out cash per share of  $3.50, the shares trade under 10x 2010 earnings expectations.  Cheers to them.

Zumiez (ZUMZ) investors, on the other hand, are NOT having  nice afternoon.  While they beat earnings expectations by 2cents, they gave guidance for the quarter that was bad enough that shares are down 10% as I speak.  They see same-store-sales for this quarter in the 7% range, while the street expects total sales to be up 11%.  There will be some new stores to add to that 7%, but with the increased spending ahead of new store openings, earnings will come in weak.  For a stock up 186% in twelve months, it is not surprising to see a sell-off like this.

As I speak, they just mentioned on the conference call that some of the Q1 2010 expenses that are causing the EPS shortfall are legal expenses and bonus "catch-ups" to employees.  These are less "core operational" in nature, so this sell-off might be a bit of an over-reaction.
The Company is introducing guidance for the three months ending May 1, 2010 of a net loss of approximately $0.09 to $0.11 per diluted share which includes estimated pre-tax charges $1.2 million (after-tax per diluted share of $0.03) associated with its previously disclosed plan to relocate its distribution center from Everett, Washington to Corona, California. This guidance is based on an anticipated comparable store sales increase in the mid to upper single digit range for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.


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