Stein Mart Net Jumps 586 Percent in Fourth Quarter



JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–A streamlining of the cost structure and improved inventory management helped Stein Mart to a dramatic 586 percent pickup in fourth-quarter net income, to $18.8 million.

The department-store retailer managed this despite a 1.5 percent drop in fourth-quarter net sales to $336.7 million. It slimmed selling, general and administrative expenses by 11.5 percent in dollars and 257 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 22.8 percent. In addition, Stein Mart’s gross margin tacked on 16 basis points to finish the quarter at 26 percent. The company also posted an income-tax benefit of $2.9 million, as opposed to a provision of $3.2 million in last year’s fourth quarter.

The bottom-line total for the quarter, which ended on Jan. 29, included adjustments for asset impairment, store closing charges and deferred tax valuation allowance. Without these adjustments, Stein Mart’s fourth-quarter profit rose 68 percent to $14.6 million.

For the fiscal year as a whole, Stein Mart’s net income rose 107 percent to $48.8 million, in spite of a 3.1 percent drop in net sales to $1.2 billion. Acknowledging the company’s success in controlling costs, David H. Stovall Jr., president and chief executive officer, added that Stein Mart’s long-term performance will depend on “gaining more traction in sales growth. Our focus in 2011 is increasing sales by attracting more customers and building our share of their spending.”

Posted in News, Retail.

Last updated: March 10, 2011