Party City narrows loss, gives upbeat outlook

Marianne Wilson
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Party City Holdco reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss and sales that beat estimates even as social gatherings remained constricted.

The party goods chain said its net loss totaled $14.1 million, or $0.13 a share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared to a loss of $541.5 million, or $5.80 a share, posted in the year-ago period. The adjusted loss came to $0.5 a share compared to the $0.18 loss analysts had expected. 

Total revenue rose 3.1% to $426.8 million, beating estimates of $405.0 million. Total retail sales increased 10.0%, driven by a 49.3% comparable sales increase in core categories versus last year. 

Party City had 751 corporate stores as of March 31, 2021 compared to 757 in the prior-year period.

"Despite operating in a pandemic impacted environment with fewer in-person celebrations, brand comparable sales increased 0.4% versus 2019," said CEO Brad Weston. "While social gatherings were suppressed for a significant portion of the quarter, we were very encouraged by first quarter results and sales momentum which continued into April. As we look to the second quarter, we are confident in our overall positioning heading into the summer and graduation season.”

The company is now expecting second-quarter revenue of $475 million to $490 million, ahead of estimates for $383.0 million. It expects same-store sales to climb 92% to 97%, also higher than expected.