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Stage Stores rising on renewed optimism


The resumption of top line growth at Stage Stores enabled the operator of 858 stores to reduce the size of its third quarter net loss, but CEO Michael Glazer is taking a cautious view of the holidays.

The company said total sales increased 2.6% to $364 million compared to $355 million and same store sales increased 2.3% following a 4.2% decline in the second quarter. The top line improvement help Stage Stores reduce the size of its loss, which declined to $5.1 million, or 16 cents a share, compared to a prior year loss from continuing operations of $7 million, or 22 cents a share. The company handily exceed analysts’ estimate and a full year profit forecast was affirmed which caused shares of the company to surge nearly 20% on Nov. 19.

“We are pleased with our third quarter results, driven by strong sales during the back-to-school period and encouraging initial selling of Fall assortments. We achieved positive comparable sales by balancing regular price and clearance sales and effectively managing our promotional and advertising plans,” Glazer said. “We made progress on our strategic initiatives which drove top-line and bottom-line gains and were especially pleased with an over 40% sales gain in our direct-to-consumer business, along with strong performances in the cosmetics, women’s apparel and home categories.”

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Glazer said he expects the holiday season to challenging for apparel retailers. The company expects comps during the period to be flat to up 2%.

Stage Stores operates under banners such as Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage where it offers moderately priced, nationally recognized brand name apparel, accessories, cosmetics and footwear.

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