Same-store sales for the women's apparel retailer were flat for the third quarter and down 3 percent year-to-date.
Shares of Christopher & Banks Corp. slipped to a 12-month low Thursday after the struggling women's apparel retailer posted a loss, a slim increase in sales and flat same-store sales for its third quarter.
The results weren't unexpected and in fact, the loss of 45 cents a share was slightly better than analysts' estimates of a 50-cent loss for the quarter ended Nov. 26. Even so, the stock fell more than 2.5 percent to $2.29 a share in after-hours trading. The results were revealed after the New York Stock Exchange closed.
The financial report comes as the company embarks on a major restructuring plan. Last month it announced that it will close 69 stores nationwide by the end of January and convert 25 locations into its new Christopher Banks / CJ Banks "dual-format" stores. The plans include closing a store in Albert Lea, Minn., and converting one in Roseville. By the end of the restructuring, the retailer will operate 680 stores in 44 states, including 45 in Minnesota.
Christopher & Banks also is seeking to restructure its remaining leases and has suspended its quarterly dividend.
The company's quarterly net loss of $28.2 million, or 79 cents a share, included a 34-cents-per-share restructuring and asset impairment charge.
In a statement, CEO Larry Barenbaum said: "We were clearly disappointed in the results for the quarter."
He said the sharp drop in gross profit margin during the quarter to 21.7 percent versus 35.9 percent a year earlier resulted from aggressive promotions on merchandise to drive sales and move seasonal inventory.
"We expect that these challenges and merchandise margin pressures will continue in the fourth quarter, given that we still need to work through current product," he said.
The company did not provide a specific forecast for its fiscal year ending in February. Analysts have estimated a loss of 49 cents a share compared with a year-ago loss of 63 cents a share and a 1 percent drop in sales.
In the third quarter, sales increased 2.5 percent to $123.9 million, near the bottom of the range of analysts' estimates. Same-store sales were flat for the quarter and down 3 percent for the nine-month period.
Earlier this month Christopher & Banks named veteran retailer Joel Waller to a one-year term as president. Waller, a former chairman and CEO of Wilsons Leather, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and sold its assets, had been working as a consultant.
Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723