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Express, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results; Introduces First Quarter and Full Year 2014 Guidance

- Fourth quarter comparable sales rose 1%

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR), a specialty retail apparel chain operating approximately 630 stores, today announced fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results.  These results cover the 13 and 52 week periods ended February 1, 2014 and compare to the 14 and 53 week periods ended February 2, 2013.  Comparable sales for the fourth quarter and full year 2013 were calculated using the 13 and 52 week periods ended February 1, 2014 compared to the 13 and 52 week periods ended February 2, 2013, respectively.

EXPRESS Logo.

Michael Weiss, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, noted that, "Our fourth quarter results were within the range of our revised guidance but disappointing nonetheless given the strength of our collection across both genders.  We delivered positive comps for the quarter, but the heavier than planned pace of promotions impacted both top-line and margins.  On the plus side, we ended the quarter with lean inventories heading into Spring.  We also made advances in terms of three of our growth pillars.  Specifically, we continued to grow our E-Commerce business; opened new North American stores, including our San Francisco flagship; and continued our international expansion.  We also laid the groundwork for our outlet initiative and plan to open the first of these outlet stores in the beginning of May 2014."  

Commenting on first quarter and full year 2014 guidance, Mr. Weiss noted that, "We transitioned to Spring with multiple key items that are turning quickly and an assortment that is highlighting important emerging trends.  The start of 2014 has nevertheless been extremely difficult, with traffic down significantly, negative comparable sales and the promotional environment remaining intense.  Our first quarter guidance reflects year to date traffic and comparable sales as well as our belief that a material uptick in traffic is not necessarily imminent.  This in turn leads us to believe that the promotional environment will continue, and we have planned accordingly.  Our full year projections anticipate a return to EPS growth in the back half of the year, but full year results will be impacted by a weak start to 2014 and de-leveraging associated with our buying and occupancy and SG&A expenses.  We are working on a variety of initiatives to generate improved results and remain committed to driving long-term shareholder value." 

Fourth Quarter 2013 Operating Results (for the 13 week period ended February 1, 2014 compared to the 14 week period ended February 2, 2013):

  • Net sales for the fourth quarter were $715.9 million.  Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $731.7 million, including approximately $27.0 million related to the fourteenth week in last year's fourth quarter. 
  • Comparable sales (including e-commerce sales) increased 1% compared to a 1.5% increase in last year's fourth quarter.  E-commerce sales increased 14% to $138.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 (13 weeks) compared to last year's 14 week fourth quarter. 
  • Gross margin as a percentage of net sales declined 300 basis points over last year's fourth quarter and represented 32.0% of net sales.  Merchandise margin declined by 220 basis points reflecting the intensely promotional nature of the holiday period and January.  Buying and occupancy costs as a percentage of sales rose by 80 basis points.
  • Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $144.1 million versus $144.4 million in last year's fourth quarter.  As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses rose by 40 basis points to 20.1% compared to 19.7% in last year's fourth quarter.
  • Operating income was $85.4 million, or 11.9% of net sales, compared to $111.4 million, or 15.2% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2012.  Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2012 included approximately $5.2 million related to the fourteenth week.
  • Income tax expense was $31.8 million, at an effective tax rate of 39.9%, compared to $42.1 million, at an effective tax rate of 39.7% in last year's fourth quarter.
  • Net income was $47.9 million, or $0.57 per diluted share.  This compares to net income of $63.9 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2012, with 2012's fourteenth week contributing approximately $0.04 per diluted share.
  • Real estate activity for the fourth quarter of 2014 is detailed in Schedule 4.

Full Year 2013 Operating Results (for the 52 week period ended February 1, 2014 compared to the 53 week period ended February 2, 2013):

  • Net sales increased 3% to $2.2 billion.  Prior year net sales included approximately $27.0 million associated with the 53rd week.
  • Comparable sales (including e-commerce sales) increased 3% while comparable sales in the prior year period were flat.  E-commerce sales increased 25% to $340.6 million in 2013 (52 weeks) compared to last year's 53 week period. 
  • Gross margin was 32.3% of net sales compared to 34.4% in 2012.  Merchandise margins declined 120 basis points and buying and occupancy costs as a percentage of sales increased 90 basis points.
  • SG&A expenses were $504.3 million versus $491.6 million in 2012. As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses improved 10 basis points to 22.7%. 
  • Operating income was $214.3 million, or 9.7% of net sales, compared to $251.6 million, or 11.7% of net sales, in the prior year period.  Prior year operating income included approximately $5.2 million associated with the 53rd week.
  • Income tax expense was $76.6 million, at an effective tax rate of 39.7%, compared to $92.7 million, at an effective tax rate of 40.0% in the prior year period.
  • Net income was $116.5 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, compared to net income of $139.3 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, in 2012, with 2012's 53rd week contributing approximately $0.04 per diluted share.

2013 Balance Sheet Highlights:

  • Cash and cash equivalents totaled $311.9 million versus $256.3 million at the end of 2012.
  • Capital expenditures totaled $105.4 million, compared to $99.7 million in the prior year.
  • Inventory was $212.5 million, a decrease of 1%, compared to $215.1 million at the end of 2012. Inventory per square foot decreased 5% compared to the end of 2012.

Classification of Sell-Off Revenue:
We have revised our presentation of revenue associated with the sell off of end of season product to third parties. This resulted in a minor impact to our previously reported revenue, cost of goods sold and gross profit percentage.  Sell-off revenue is now recorded in net sales rather than being netted against our cost of goods sold, buying and occupancy costs.  Gross profit dollars and net income were unaffected.  Please refer to Schedule 5 for details regarding the impact of the reclassification in 2012 and 2013.

2014 Guidance:
The table below compares the Company's projected results for the thirteen week period ended May 3, 2014 to the actual results for the thirteen week period ended May 4, 2013.  These projections do not take into account any actions we will be taking with respect to our long-term debt, which we intend to refinance in the near term.


First Quarter 2014

Guidance


First Quarter 2013

Actual Results

Comparable Sales

Negative low double to

negative high single digits


Flat

Effective Tax Rate

40.0 - 41.0%


39.6%

Interest Expense, Net

$5.5 - $6 million


$4.8 million

Net Income

$10 - $15 million


$32.4 million

Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS)

$0.12 - $0.18


$0.38

Weighted Average Diluted Shares Outstanding

84.5 million


85.5 million

See Schedule 4 for projected real estate activity.

The table below compares the Company's projected results for the fifty-two week period ended January 31, 2015 to the actual results for the fifty-two week period ended February 1, 2014.


Full Year 2014

Guidance


Full Year 2013

Actual Results

Comparable Sales

Negative low single digits to

flat


3%

Effective Tax Rate

Approximately 40%


39.7%

Interest Expense, Net

$23 - $25 million


$19.5 million

Net Income

$88 - $105 million


$116.5 million

Diluted EPS

$1.03 - $1.23


$1.37

Weighted Average Diluted Shares Outstanding

85.1 million


85.1 million

Capital Expenditures

$110 - $115 million


$105.4 million

See Schedule 4 for projected real estate activity.

Consistent with previous years, the quarterly and full year guidance excludes any non-core operating items that may occur.

Conference Call Information:
A conference call to discuss fourth quarter and 2014 results is scheduled for Wednesday March 12, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET).  Investors and analysts interested in participating in the call are invited to dial (877) 705-6003 approximately ten minutes prior to the start of the call.  The conference call will also be webcast live at: http://www.express.com/investor and remain available for 90 days.  A telephone replay of this call will be available from 12:00 p.m. ET on March 12, 2014 until 11:59 p.m. ET on March 19, 2014 and can be accessed by dialing (877) 870-5176 and entering replay pin number 13576286.

About Express:
Express is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer of women's and men's merchandise, targeting the 20 to 30 year old customer. The Company has over 30 years of experience offering a distinct combination of fashion and quality for multiple lifestyle occasions at an attractive value addressing fashion needs across work, casual, jeanswear, and going-out occasions. The Company currently operates approximately 630 retail stores, located primarily in high-traffic shopping malls, lifestyle centers, and street locations across the United States, in Canada, and in Puerto Rico. Express merchandise is also available at franchise stores in the Middle East and Latin America. The Company also markets and sells its products through the Company's e-commerce website, www.express.com.

Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain statements are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact and include, but are not limited to, (1) guidance for the first quarter and full year 2014, including statements regarding expected comparable sales, effective tax rates, interest expense, net income, earnings per diluted share, and capital expenditures, (2) statements regarding expected store openings, store closures, and gross square footage, (3) statements regarding the Company's future plans and initiatives, including plans to refinance the Company's long-term debt, and (4) expectations regarding traffic and the promotional environment. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions, which may not prove to be accurate. These statements are not guarantees and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from these forward-looking statements. Among these factors are (1) changes in consumer spending and general economic conditions; (2) our ability to identify and respond to new and changing fashion trends, customer preferences and other related factors; (3) fluctuations in our sales and results of operations on a seasonal basis and due to store events, promotions and a variety of other factors; (4) increased competition from other retailers; (5) changes in customer traffic at malls and shopping centers; (6) our dependence upon independent third parties to manufacture all of our merchandise; (7) changes in the cost of raw materials, labor, and freight; (8) supply chain disruption; (9) our growth strategy, including our international expansion plan; (10) our dependence on a strong brand image; (11) our dependence upon key executive management; (12) our reliance on third parties to provide us with certain key services for our business; and (13) our substantial indebtedness and lease obligations. Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Express, Inc.'s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

 

 

Schedule 1

Express, Inc.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)







February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013

ASSETS




CURRENT ASSETS:




Cash and cash equivalents

$

311,884



$

256,297


Receivables, net

17,384



11,024


Inventories

212,510



215,082


Prepaid minimum rent

28,554



25,166


Other

13,129



8,293


Total current assets

583,461



515,862






PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

767,661



625,344


Less: accumulated depreciation

(391,539)



(346,975)


Property and equipment, net

376,122



278,369






TRADENAME/DOMAIN NAME

197,812



197,719


DEFERRED TAX ASSETS

17,558



16,808


OTHER ASSETS

7,717



10,441


Total assets

$

1,182,670



$

1,019,199






LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY




CURRENT LIABILITIES:




Accounts payable

$

154,736



$

176,125


Deferred revenue

28,436



27,851


Accrued bonus

694



336


Accrued expenses

116,238



108,464


Total current liabilities

300,104



312,776






LONG-TERM DEBT

199,170



198,843


DEFERRED LEASE CREDITS

114,509



91,491


OTHER LONG-TERM LIABILITIES

94,318



44,927


Total liabilities

708,101



648,037






COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES








Total stockholders' equity

474,569



371,162


Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

$

1,182,670



$

1,019,199



Note: Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified or adjusted to conform to current year presentation.

 

Schedule 2

Express, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income

(In thousands, except per share amounts)

(Unaudited)



Thirteen Weeks

Ended


Fourteen Weeks

Ended


Fifty-Two

Weeks Ended


Fifty-Three

Weeks Ended


February 1,

 2014


February 2,

 2013


February 1,

 2014


February 2,

 2013

NET SALES

$

715,880



$

731,685



$

2,219,125



$

2,157,227


COST OF GOODS SOLD, BUYING AND

OCCUPANCY COSTS

486,762



475,872



1,501,418



1,414,588


Gross profit

229,118



255,813



717,707



742,639


OPERATING EXPENSES:








Selling, general, and administrative expenses

144,112



144,375



504,277



491,599


Other operating (income) expense, net

(414)



30



(829)



(523)


Total operating expenses

143,698



144,405



503,448



491,076










OPERATING INCOME

85,420



111,408



214,259



251,563










INTEREST EXPENSE, NET

5,065



5,215



19,522



19,552


OTHER EXPENSE, NET

613



144



1,571



40


INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES

79,742



106,049



193,166



231,971


INCOME TAX EXPENSE

31,816



42,106



76,627



92,704


NET INCOME

$

47,926



$

63,943



$

116,539



$

139,267










OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME:








Foreign currency translation (loss) gain

(950)



33



(708)



(13)


COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

$

46,976



$

63,976



$

115,831



$

139,254










EARNINGS PER SHARE:








Basic

$

0.57



$

0.75



$

1.38



$

1.60


Diluted

$

0.57



$

0.75



$

1.37



$

1.60










WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OUTSTANDING:








Basic

83,837



84,944



84,466



86,852


Diluted

84,609



85,320



85,068



87,206














Note: Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified or adjusted to conform to current year presentation.

 

Schedule 3

Express, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)






2013


2012

CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:




Net income

$

116,539



$

139,267


Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating

activities:




Depreciation and amortization

69,810



67,727


Loss on disposal of property and equipment

670



124


Impairment charge

26



6


Excess tax benefit from share-based compensation

(210)



(422)


Share-based compensation

21,174



16,308


Deferred taxes

(807)



3,937


Landlord allowance amortization

(9,342)



(8,166)


Changes in operating assets and liabilities:




Receivables, net

(6,508)



(1,991)


Inventories

2,133



(1,997)


Accounts payable, deferred revenue, and accrued expenses

(28,973)



17,564


Other assets and liabilities

30,563



37,007


Net cash provided by operating activities

195,075



269,364






CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:




Capital expenditures

(105,368)



(99,674)


Purchase of intangible assets

(94)



(210)


Net cash used in investing activities

(105,462)



(99,884)






CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:




Payments on capital lease obligation

(313)



(55)


Excess tax benefit from share-based compensation

210



422


Proceeds from share-based compensation

4,701



623


Repurchase of common stock

(37,929)



(66,541)


Net cash used in financing activities

(33,331)



(65,551)






EFFECT OF EXCHANGE RATE ON CASH

(695)



6






NET DECREASE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

55,587



103,935


CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, Beginning of period

256,297



152,362


CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, End of period

$

311,884



$

256,297



Note: Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified or adjusted to conform to current year presentation.

 

Schedule 4

Express, Inc.

Real Estate Activity

(Unaudited)






Fourth Quarter 2013 - Actual




Company-Operated Stores

Opened

Closed





United States

3





Canada

1





Total

4












Full Year 2013 - Actual



February 1, 2014 - Actual

Company-Operated Stores

Opened

Closed



Store Count

Gross Square

 Footage

United States

12

(9)



617


Canada

4



15


Total

16

(9)



632

5.5 million








First Quarter 2014 - Projected



May 3, 2014 - Projected

Company-Operated Stores

Open

Close

Conversion


Store Count

 Gross Square

Footage

United States - Retail Stores

2

(9)

(15)


595


United States - Outlet Stores

2


15


17


Canada

1


16


Total

5

(9)


628

5.5 million








Full Year 2014 - Projected



Full Year 2014 - Projected

Company-Operated Stores

Open

Close

Conversion


Store Count

 Gross Square

Footage

United States - Retail Stores

8

(15)

(15)


595


United States - Outlet Stores

16


15


31


Canada

2


17


Total

26

(15)


643

5.6 million

 

Schedule 5

Express, Inc.

Classification of Sell-Off Revenue

(Unaudited)






2013 Quarter




First


Second


Third




(in thousands, except percentages)



Net sales, as previously reported

$508,524


$486,158


$502,992



Sell-off adjustment

838


3,917


816



Adjusted net sales

$509,362


$490,075


$503,808











Cost of goods sold, buying and occupancy

costs, as previously reported

$337,747


$333,611


$337,727



Sell-off adjustment

838


3,917


816



Adjusted Cost of goods sold, buying and occupancy costs

$338,585


$337,528


$338,543











Gross profit

$170,777


$152,547


$165,265



Gross profit %, as previously reported

33.6%


31.4%


32.9%



Adjusted gross profit %

33.5%


31.1%


32.8%












2012 Quarter


First


Second


Third


Fourth


(in thousands, except percentages)

Net sales, as previously reported

$495,952


$454,879


$468,527


$728,711

Sell-off adjustment

1,269


3,984


931


2,974

Adjusted net sales

$497,221


$458,863


$469,458


$731,685









Cost of goods sold, buying and occupancy costs, as previously reported

$307,185


$308,358


$316,989


$472,898

Sell-off adjustment

1,269


3,984


931


2,974

Adjusted Cost of goods sold, buying and occupancy costs

$308,454


$312,342


$317,920


$475,872









Gross profit

$188,767


$146,521


$151,538


$255,813

Gross profit %, as previously reported

38.1%


32.2%


32.3%


35.1%

Adjusted gross profit %

38.0%


31.9%


32.3%


35.0%









The classification of sell-off revenue was revised during the fourth quarter of 2013, moving the income from cost of goods sold, buying and occupancy costs to net sales. Previous quarters have been adjusted as noted above to conform to current presentation.

 

Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130910/NY76292LOGO

SOURCE Express, Inc.

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