Signet Jewelers on Thursday reported a third quarter loss but on higher revenue than a year ago, with the company also revising upward its full-year outlook.
Shares of the national jewelry retailer sold off significantly even as earnings and revenue beat analyst estimates. The broader stock market was in a steep decline for much of the trading day.
Signet, which has its corporate headquarters in Akron, reported it lost $48.8 million, or 74 cents per share, on revenue of $1.19 billion for the 2019 third quarter ending Nov. 3. That compares to net income of $5.5 million, or 5.5 cents per share, on revenue of $1.16 billion for the fiscal 2018 third quarter.
Signet said it had an adjusted loss of $1.06 per share.
Shares closed down $9.03 or 18 percent, to $41. Closing share prices over the last 52 weeks have ranged from a low of $33.11 to a high of $71.07.
Signet said stores open at least a year had sales 1.6 percent higher than a year ago; North America same-store sales were up 2.1 percent compared to a year ago. Signet’s brands include Kay, Jared, Zales, Piercing Pagoda and JamesAllen.com.
E-commerce sales showed double-digit growth.
The company said it expects holiday sales in the current fourth quarter to face competition from other retailers offering jewelry discounts.
“In the third quarter, we delivered positive same store sales growth, with a return to positive same store sales in our Kay banner, further momentum at Piercing Pagoda and Zales, and double-digit increases in e-commerce sales," Chief Executive Officer Virginia Drosos said in a news release. "As we enter the holiday season, amid a highly competitive market and with key selling weeks ahead, we are keenly focused on delivering on our holiday plans and implementing the beginning stages of our transformation initiatives in our stores and on our websites.”
Signet said it now expects fiscal 2019 sales of $6.26 billion to $6.31 billion, with same-store sales flat to up 1 percent. The company expects a full-year loss of $7.07 to $7.40 per share. The company in August said it expected full-year sales of $6.2 billion to $6.3 billion, with same-store sales flat to down 1.5 percent. Earnings were projected to show a loss of $7.09 to $7.47 a share.
“Our sales trends have continued to stabilize,” Drosos said in a conference call with industry analysts. “Early investments in our e-commerce capabilities are positively impacting our financial results. … Our brick and mortar sales performance is also improving.”
Signet remains on track to close 200 stores this fiscal year, primarily after the holiday sales season, with most in underforming mall locations. The company is opening new stores in desirable non-mall locations and recently opened its first James Allen store — James Allen is primarily an online retailer — in the Washington, D.C., area that will serve as a concept store and showcase for new digital technology and also millennial-inspired shopping experiences, Drosos said.
“This store is an opportunity to test new concepts and incorporate innovation in new store design plans for all of our banners,” Drosos said.
E-commerce sales, including James Allen, totaled $125 million, up 54.9 percent from a year ago and representing more than 10 percent of total quarterly sales, the company reported.
The company remains on track for its three-year Path to Brilliance transformation plan. The company said holiday sales results will be released Jan. 17, followed in March with full-year results and the 2020 fiscal year outlook.
Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ