December 5, 2017

francesca’s® Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Results

  • Net sales, comparable sales and diluted earnings per share were within guidance range
  • Net sales decreased 11% to $105.8 million and comparable sales decreased 18%
  • Diluted earnings per share were $0.01
  • Company revises full year guidance

HOUSTON, Dec. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Francesca’s Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:FRAN) today reported financial results for the third quarter ended October 28, 2017.  

Steve Lawrence, President and CEO, stated, “While our third quarter was a challenging period, we took decisive steps to improve our positioning as we head into the holiday season and beyond. As we previously discussed, our sales results were impacted by merchandise missteps that impacted our business throughout the third quarter. Additionally, comparable sales results were impacted by an estimated 425 basis points from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We have taken aggressive action to get us back on track by refocusing on our core consumer and delivering on our mission of surprising and delighting every guest, every time with a unique, trend-right assortment at a great value. We have seen business get progressively better as the new receipts have landed and November comparable sales have sequentially improved from our third quarter performance. That being said, we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

“Looking ahead, we remain focused on the initiatives that will be critical for our success in the long term. We have spent the better part of 2017 putting in place building blocks for our future with the infrastructure investments we have made. Growing our ecommerce business remains our number one long term focus and many of the things we have put in place this year will help us drive our online business now and in the future. We are also taking steps to rationalize our store fleet with a focus on openings in A and B malls and closings in C and D malls. We believe this strategy is aligned with our goal to be in the most relevant locations. Overall, we remain focused on taking steps to reinvigorate our merchandise assortments and making investments in our business that will drive sustainable profitable growth for the long term.”  

THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

Net sales decreased 11% to $105.8 million from $119.5 million in the comparable prior year quarter. This decrease was due to an 18% decrease in comparable sales compared to a 7% increase in the comparable prior year period. Comparable sales decreased primarily due to a decline in boutique traffic and conversion rates as the back-to-school assortment did not resonate with guests. Additionally, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma negatively impacted comparable sales by approximately 425 basis points, mostly as a result of the supply chain disruption the Company experienced at its corporate offices located in Houston, Texas. These decreases were partially offset by the addition of 45 net new boutiques since the end of the third quarter last year and $1.5 million of additional gift card breakage income recognized during the quarter as a result of a change in the estimated period over which redemption of gift cards is considered remote.  The Company opened 23 new boutiques and closed one boutique during the quarter, bringing the total count to 714 at the end of the quarter.     

Gross profit, as a percent of net sales, decreased to 39.6% from 48.2% in the prior year quarter.  This was due to a decrease in merchandise margin and deleveraging of occupancy costs. The decrease in merchandise margin was due to increased markdowns in order to sell-through our back-to-school assortment. 

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 1% to $41.4 million from $41.9 million in the prior year quarter. This decrease was primarily due to a decrease in short- and long-term performance-based incentive expenses partially offset by increases in boutique and corporate payroll, software, professional fees and marketing expenses.

Income from operations was $0.5 million, or 0.4% of net sales, compared to $15.8 million, or 13.2% of net sales, in the prior year quarter. 

BALANCE SHEET SUMMARY

Total cash and cash equivalents at the end of the third quarter were $19.0 million compared to $24.7 million at the end of the comparable prior year quarter.  During the third quarter, the Company repurchased 0.5 million shares of its common stock at a total cost of $3.5 million.

The Company ended the quarter with $38.8 million of inventory on hand compared to $42.8 million at the end of the comparable prior year period.  Average ending inventory per boutique decreased by 15% compared to the comparable prior year period as the Company continues to diligently control inventory through enhanced inventory management processes that began in the second quarter of 2016. 

FOURTH QUARTER AND REVISED FISCAL YEAR 2017 GUIDANCE

For the fourth quarter ending February 3, 2018, net sales are expected to be in the range of $145 million to $150 million; assuming a decrease of 9% to 12% in comparable sales compared to flat comparable sales in the prior year. The Company plans to open nine new boutiques during the fourth quarter. Diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter are expected to be in the range of $0.35 to $0.40 compared to $0.39 in the prior year. 

For the fiscal year ending February 3, 2018, net sales are now expected to be in the range of $478 million to $483 million; assuming a decrease of 9% to 10% in comparable sales compared to the prior year increase of 2%. The Company expects to open 60 boutiques and close eight boutiques in fiscal year 2017, compared to 64 new boutiques opened and nine boutiques closed in fiscal year 2016.  Diluted earnings per share are now expected to be in the range of $0.67 to $0.72 compared to the prior year of $1.09. The number of average diluted shares for the full year assumed in guidance is 36.3 million shares. The effective tax rate is estimated to be 38.7%.

Capital expenditures for fiscal year 2017 are expected to be in the range of $30 million to $33 million.

Conference Call Information

A conference call to discuss the third quarter results is scheduled for December 5, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. ET. A live webcast of the conference call will be available in the investor relations section of the Company’s website, www.francescas.com. A replay of the call will be available after the conclusion of the call and remain available until December 12, 2017. To access the telephone replay, listeners should dial 1-844-512-2921. The access code for the replay is 6325605. A replay of the webcast will also be available shortly after the conclusion of the call and will remain on the website for ninety days.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this release are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Such forward-looking statements reflect our current expectations or beliefs concerning future events and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the risk that we cannot anticipate, identify and respond quickly to changing fashion trends and customer preferences or changes in consumer environment, including changing expectations of service and experience in boutiques and online, and evolve our business model; our ability to attract a sufficient number of customers to our boutiques or sell sufficient quantities of our merchandise through our ecommerce business; our ability to successfully open and operate new boutiques each year; our ability to efficiently source and distribute additional merchandise quantities necessary to support our growth and our ability to successfully integrate our new Chief Merchant. For additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements, please refer to "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 28, 2017 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 22, 2017 and any risk factors contained in subsequent quarterly and annual reports we file with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement.

About Francesca's Holdings Corporation

francesca's® is a growing specialty retailer which operates a nationwide-chain of boutiques providing customers a unique, fun and personalized shopping experience.  The merchandise assortment is a diverse and balanced mix of apparel, jewelry, accessories and gifts. Today francesca's® operates approximately 714 boutiques in 47 states and the District of Columbia and also serves its customers through francescas.com. For additional information on francesca's®, please visit www.francescas.com.

CONTACT:
ICR, Inc.         Company
Jean Fontana         Kelly Dilts 832-494-2236
646-277-1214         Kate Venturina 832-494-2233
          IR@francescas.com
           


Francesca’s Holdings Corporation
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts, Percentages and Basis Points)
 
  Thirteen Weeks Ended            
  October 28, 2017   October 29, 2016   Variance
  In USD   As a %
of Net Sales(1)
  In USD   As a %
of Net Sales(1)
  In USD   %   Basis Points
Net sales $ 105,791     100.0 %   $ 119,470     100.0 %   $ (13,679 )   (11 )%   -  
Cost of goods sold and occupancy costs   63,931     60.4 %     61,843     51.8 %     2,088     3 %   860  
Gross profit   41,860     39.6 %     57,627     48.2 %     (15,767 )   (27 )%   (860 )
Selling, general and administrative expenses   41,405     39.1 %     41,872     35.0 %     (467 )   (1 )%   410  
Income from operations   455     0.4 %     15,755     13.2 %     (15,300 )   (97 )%   (1,280 )
Interest expense   (109 )   (0.1 )%     (131 )   (0.1 )%     (22 )   (17 )%   -  
Other income   88     0.1 %     79     0.1 %     9     11 %   -  
Income before income tax expense   434     0.4 %     15,703     13.1 %     (15,269 )   (97 )%   (1,270 )
Income tax expense   195     0.2 %     6,009     5.0 %     (5,814 )   (97 )%   (480 )
Net income $ 239     0.2 %   $ 9,694     8.1 %   $ (9,455 )   (98 )%   (790 )
                                             
(1)  Percentage totals or differences in the above table may not equal the sum or difference of the components due to rounding.
                           
Diluted earnings per share $ 0.01         $ 0.26                  
Weighted average diluted share count   35,959           37,675                  
                           
Comparable sales (18)%
  7%
           
                           
  Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended            
  October 28, 2017   October 29, 2016   Variance
  In USD   As a %
of Net Sales(1)
  In USD   As a %
of Net Sales(1)
  In USD   %   Basis Points
Net sales $ 333,187     100.0 %   $ 340,843     100.0 %   $ (7,656 )   (2 )%   -  
Cost of goods sold and occupancy costs   187,249     56.2 %     180,149     52.9 %     7,100     4 %   330  
Gross profit   145,938     43.8 %     160,694     47.1 %     (14,756 )   (9 )%   (330 )
Selling, general and administrative expenses   126,338     37.9 %     116,353     34.1 %     9,985     9 %   380  
Income from operations   19,600     5.9 %     44,341     13.0 %     (24,741 )   (56 )%   (710 )
Interest expense   (332 )   (0.1 )%     (353 )   (0.1 )%     (21 )   (6 )%   -  
Other income   278     0.1 %     118     0.0 %     160     136 %   10  
Income before income tax expense   19,546     5.9 %     44,106     12.9 %     (24,560 )   (56 )%   (700 )
Income tax expense   7,711     2.3 %     16,740     4.9 %     (9,029 )   (54 )%   (260 )
Net income $ 11,835     3.6 %   $ 27,366     8.0 %   $ (15,531 )   (57 )%   (440 )
                                             
(1)  Percentage totals or differences in the above table may not equal the sum or difference of the components due to rounding.
                           
Diluted earnings per share $ 0.32         $ 0.70                  
Weighted average diluted share count   36,525           38,945                  
                           
Comparable sales (9)%
  3%
           


 
Francesca’s Holdings Corporation
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands, except share and per share amount)
 
    October 28, 2017     January 28, 2017     October 29, 2016  
ASSETS                        
                         
Current assets:                        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 19,020     $ 53,202     $ 24,725  
Accounts receivable     18,150       5,605       8,218  
Inventories     38,824       23,958       42,774  
Deferred income taxes     -       8,487       5,709  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets     10,179       8,823       7,745  
Total current assets     86,173       100,075       89,171  
Property and equipment, net     85,710       80,484       82,992  
Deferred income taxes     15,577       6,978       4,425  
Other assets, net     3,794       2,056       1,370  
TOTAL ASSETS   $ 191,254     $ 189,593     $ 177,958  
                         
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY                        
                         
Current liabilities:                        
Accounts payable   $ 28,239     $ 9,205     $ 16,550  
Accrued liabilities     12,848       25,761       16,629  
Total current liabilities     41,087       34,966       33,179  
Landlord incentives and deferred rent     38,327       38,092       38,821  
Total liabilities     79,414       73,058       72,000  
                         
Commitments and contingencies                        
                         
Stockholders’ equity:                        
Common stock - $0.01 par value, 80.0 million shares authorized; 46.4 million, 46.1 million and 46.1 million shares issued at October 28, 2017, January 28, 2017 and October 29, 2016, respectively.     464       461       461  
Additional paid-in capital     111,065       109,008       107,908  
Retained earnings     155,319       143,557       128,922  
Treasury stock, at cost – 10.2 million, 8.5 million and 8.3 million shares at October 28, 2017, January 28, 2017 and October 29, 2016, respectively.     (155,008 )     (136,491 )     (131,333 )
Total stockholders’ equity     111,840       116,535       105,958  
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY   $ 191,254     $ 189,593     $ 177,958  
                         


Francesca’s Holdings Corporation
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)
 
    Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended  
    October 28, 2017     October 29, 2016  
Cash Flows Provided by Operating Activities:                
Net income   $ 11,835     $ 27,366  
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:                
Depreciation and amortization     15,749       14,415  
Stock-based compensation expense     2,082       18  
Excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation     -       (2 )
Loss on disposal of assets     565       265  
Deferred income taxes     (65 )     (81 )
Impairment charges     100       66  
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:                
Accounts receivable     (12,272 )     1,364  
Inventories     (14,866 )     (11,233 )
Prepaid expenses and other assets     (3,529 )     (1,294 )
Accounts payable     16,987       2,015  
Accrued liabilities     (12,913 )     301  
Landlord incentives and deferred rent     235       2,269  
Net cash provided by operating activities     3,908       35,469  
                 
Cash Flows Used in Investing Activities:                
Purchases of property and equipment     (19,121 )     (18,666 )
Other     -       8  
Net cash used in investing activities     (19,121 )     (18,658 )
                 
Cash Flows Used in Financing Activities:                
Repurchases of common stock     (18,827 )     (48,715 )
Taxes paid related to net share settlement of equity awards     (142 )     -  
Proceeds from the exercise of stock options     -       403  
Excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation     -       2  
Net cash used in financing activities     (18,969 )     (48,310 )
                 
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents     (34,182 )     (31,499 )
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year     53,202       56,224  
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period   $ 19,020     $ 24,725  
                 
Supplemental Disclosures of Cash Flow Information:                
Cash paid for income taxes   $ 23,806     $ 13,014  
Interest paid   $ 144     $ 143  
                 


Francesca’s Holdings Corporation
Supplemental Information
 
Quarterly Sales by Merchandise Category
 
    Thirteen Weeks Ended
   
    October 28, 2017
  October 29, 2016
  Variance
    In Dollars
  As a % of
Net Sales
  In Dollars     As a % of
Net Sales 
  In Dollars    %
                                                 
    (in thousands, except percentages)
Apparel(1)   $ 54,663       51.7 %   $ 64,013       53.6 %   $ (9,350 )     (15 )%
Jewelry     22,826       21.6 %     26,143       21.9 %     (3,317 )     (13 )%
Accessories(1)     15,360       14.5 %     17,346       14.5 %     (1,986 )     (11 )%
Gifts     10,922       10.3 %     11,638       9.7 %     (716 )     (6 )%
Merchandise sales     103,771       98.1 %     119,140       99.7 %     (15,369 )     (13 )%
Other (2)     2,020       1.9 %     330       0.3 %     1,690       512 %
    $ 105,791       100.0 %   $ 119,470       100.0 %   $ (13,679 )     (11 )%
                             
                                               
(1) In the first quarter of fiscal 2017, swimwear was reclassified out of accessories to apparel.  To facilitate comparability, prior year amounts were reclassified.
(2) Includes gift card breakage income, shipping and change in return reserve.
 


Quarterly Comparable Sales
           
  FY 2017   FY 2016   FY 2015
Q1 (5)%
  2%
  (2)%
Q2 (3)%
  0%
  (4)%
Q3 (18)%
  7%
  4%
Q4     0%
  11%
Fiscal year     2%
  3%


Boutique Count
 
  Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended
October 28, 2017
  Fiscal Year Ended
January 28, 2017
  Thirty-Nine Weeks Ended
October 29, 2016
 
Number of boutiques open at the beginning of period 671   616   616  
Boutiques opened 51   64   59  
Boutiques closed (8 ) (9 ) (6 )
Number of boutiques open at the end of period 714   671   669  
             

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Source: Francesca's Holdings Corporation