Kirkland's, Inc. released second-quarter fiscal 2019 results, wherein it reported wider-than-expected loss. Further, the top line was affected by weak store traffic, which more than offset e-commerce growth. Also, sluggish merchandise margins and higher occupancy costs dented the quarterly results.
These downsides along with trimmed view for fiscal 2019 have weighed on investors’ sentiments. Evidently, the stock declined 22% during the trading session on Sep 5. We note that shares of the company have nosedived 43.5% in the past three months compared with the industry’s rise of 15%.
Quarter in Details
The Brentwood, TN-based company posted adjusted loss of $1.05 per share compared with the prior-year quarter’s loss of 41 cents. The bottom line was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 67 cents. Lower sales were a drag on the quarterly performance.
Kirkland’s net sales amounted to $119.9 million, down 10.5% from the prior-year quarter’s figure. The top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $126 million.
Comparable store sales or comps (including e-commerce) fell 11.2% compared with a decline of 3.9% in the year-ago quarter. Comps were affected by lower store sales, stemming from dismal store traffic and average ticket. These were partially offset by enhanced e-commerce sales.
Comps included e-commerce revenue growth of nearly 21.5%. During the quarter, e-commerce revenues amounted to nearly $20.6 million. The upside can be attributed to increased online traffic and conversion. These improvements were partially countered by lower average ticket.
Kirkland's, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Costs & Margins
The home decor retailer’s gross profit plunged nearly 27.8% year over year to $26.6 million. Gross margin contracted 530 basis points (bps) to 22.2%. The downside was caused by a reduction of 130 bps in merchandise margins to reach 51.9%, stemming from a decline in product margin. Additionally, distribution center and store occupancy costs deleverage were a drag on gross margin.
Operating loss in the quarter was almost $21 million, wider than a loss of $9 million in the prior-year quarter.
During the second quarter, Kirkland’s opened and closed one store each, taking the total count to 431 stores as of Aug 3, 2019.
Other Financial Details
Kirkland's exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $14.7 million and no long-term debt or borrowings. Further, net shareholders' equity was at $102.4 million.
Cash used in operating activities amounted to $31.5 million for the first six months of fiscal 2019. The company’s capital expenditures totaled $8.5 million year to date.
Also, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company bought back 346,000 shares during the second quarter. The company expects to exhaust its exiting share repurchase plan authorization by the end of the third quarter.
For fiscal 2019, management expects loss in the range of $1.25-$1.50. This compares unfavorably with the earlier view of earnings in the range of flat to 15 cents. The revised view takes into consideration uncertainties related to exposure to tariffs and benefits from supply chain, costs as well as merchandising efforts. Moreover, the view reflects dismal performance witnessed in the first half of fiscal 2019 as well as the current sales and margin trends. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2019 is currently pegged at a loss of 52 cents.
To counter the current challenges, the company is undertaking actions to improve merchandising, omnichannel as well as infrastructural capabilities. This includes efforts such as prudent innovations, optimization of spending through realignment of supply chain as well as augmentation of digital operations and ancillary operations related to e-commerce. The company has also identified several store-closure opportunities, which are likely to aid in the reduction of store costs.
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