Express 3Q results mixed, cuts full-year forecast

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Express, the clothing and accessories chain, said Thursday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings dropped 24 percent as sales weakened and its interest expense climbed. Its profit beat analysts' expectations, but revenue fell short.

The retailer cut its full-year earnings forecast, citing expectations for ongoing softness in mall traffic and current retail store trends.

Its stock tumbled in premarket trading.

Express Inc. earned $14.6 million, or 17 cents per share, for the period ended Nov. 1. A year earlier the Columbus, Ohio company earned $19.3 million, or 23 cents per share.

The results topped the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research by a penny per share.

Interest expense climbed to $6 million in the quarter from $4.9 million a year ago.

Revenue slipped to $497.6 million from $503.8 million. Analysts surveyed by Zacks were looking for higher revenue of $501.3 million.

Comparable stores sales, which include online sales, dropped 5 percent. In the prior-year period the figure climbed 5 percent.

Online sales rose 11 percent in the quarter to $79.1 million.

Express now foresees full-year earnings in a range of 69 cents to 76 cents per share. Its previous outlook was for 85 cents to 95 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet predict earnings of 89 cents per share.

For the fourth quarter, the retailer anticipates earnings between 38 cents and 45 cents per share. FactSet analysts are calling for earnings of 60 cents per share.

Shares of Express slid $1.64, or 11.3 percent, to $12.85 shortly before the market open.

The company runs approximately 640 stores.

Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research. EXPR stock research report from Zacks.