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Express profit down but beats Street in Q2; boosts forecast


Columbus, Ohio – Express Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for both profit and revenue during the second quarter of fiscal 2014. The retailer, which is facing a possible takeover battle, reported better-than-expected net earnings of $6.9 million, down 59% from $16.9 million in the year-ago period. The company also increased its annual profit forecast.

"In light of the difficult environment, we feel very good about the progress made during the second quarter and delivering earnings that exceeded the high end of our guidance, said Michael Weiss, chairman and CEO.

Net sales fell 2% to $481.4 million from $490.1 million, but beat Wall Street predictions for net sales of about $460 million. Same-store sales fell 5%; e-commerce sales rose 3%.

“With 17 of our 20 Express Factory Outlet stores open for approximately four months, we are delighted to see them continuing to exceed our expectations from both a revenue and a margin contribution perspective,” Weiss said. “In our full priced retail stores, we managed promotions in a manner that enabled us to deliver merchandise margins that were better than we initially expected. As new receipts flowed in during the second quarter, certain categories reversed their declines and others grew nicely.”

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