Party City celebrates better-than-expected quarter

Marianne Wilson
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Party City swung to a profit in its third quarter and reported sales and earnings that topped Street estimates amid strength in its core categories. 

Net income totaled $239.7 million, or $2.24 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of $281.5 million, or $3.02 per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.10 cents, blowing past analysts’ expectations of a $0.32 per share loss.

Revenue fell to $533.8 million from $540.2 million last year, but still topped Street estimates of $489.3 million. Comparable sales rose 8.3%, which Party City attributed to strength in its core businesses, including balloons, birthdays and entertaining.  

Digital sales in North America, including services such as buy-online-pickup-in-store, rose 36%.

“We are very pleased with our better than expected third-quarter performance, highlighted by the continued strength in our core business,” said CEO Brad Weston. “Our Halloween results were ahead of our expectations, driven by strong results within décor and better than expected sales of costumes, despite the challenges of a pandemic-impacted backdrop. We are particularly encouraged by the performance of our core categories into October, which demonstrate the strength and resiliency of our business and the traction we are seeing from our strategic initiatives, both of which bode well for our future performance.”

The total number of corporate Party City stores was 739 as of September 30, 2020, compared to 843 a year ago.