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S.W. Florida Daily News


Chico’s reports 4Q results, appoints new president for namesake brand

Chico's headquarters in Fort Myers.
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Fort Myers-based retailer Chico’s FAS swung to a loss in the fourth quarter.

The company reported a net loss of $16.6 million, or 14 cents a share, compared to earnings of $28 million, or 22 cents a share, a year ago.

Adjusted for one-time items, the company lost $8.6 million, or 7 cents a share — beating Wall Street’s expectations by a few cents. On average, analysts expected losses of 9 cents a share.

In case you missed it:Chico’s FAS plans to close 250 stores, further review operations

Revenue also came in higher than analysts expected — at $524.7 million. However, it fell nearly 11 percent over the year due to several factors, including the impact from stores closings.

Shelley Broader, president and CEO of Chico's FAS

For the year, the specialty women’s retailer reported adjusted earnings of $38.8 million, or 31 cents a share. That was down sharply from $92.7 million, or 72 cents a share, a year ago. 

In a press release, Shelley Broader, the company’s CEO and president, said: “We achieved sequential improvement in comparable sales in all three brands in the fourth quarter, and with work continuing across the company, we believe we are better positioned heading into the new fiscal year.” 

Improvement actions for the company’s namesake Chico’s brand are “taking hold,” she said.

More:Chico’s FAS reports tough quarter, plans search for new president of Chico’s brand

That’s expected to continue with a new Chico’s brand president. The company has announced Karen McKibbin, a fashion retail veteran with a long, successful career at Nordstrom, has been hired for the role. She’ll start April 1. 

“I am confident that all the actions underway will enable the company to compete, succeed and drive value creation,” Broader said. 

Those actions include closing underperforming stores and reinvesting in the more successful stores.

Besides its namesake Chico’s brand, the retailer has two others: White House Black Market and Soma.

In case you missed it:Market Watch 2019 speakers: It’s time to face change

As of Feb. 2, the company operated 1,418 stores in the U.S. and Canada and sold merchandise through more than 80 international franchise locations in Mexico.

Merchandise is also available online and through other outside channels.

In early morning trading, company shares fell by more than 4.5 percent to $5.75.

Check back later for more on this story.

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