Stein Mart sees brighter future
May 19, 2005,
JACKSONVILLE , Fla. — Stein Mart is anticipating an upturn in its sputtering home business beginning in the second half of this year and into spring as a result of new leadership and other improvements, the company said during its first quarter conference call today.
Helped by stronger sales and margins, coupled with the complete elimination of interest expense, Stein Mart drove first quarter earnings up 45.8 percent, to $16.8 million. Sales rose 4.7 percent to $380.7 million, and comps improved 3.2 percent.
Wall Street and investors responded to the good news by pushing the retailer's stock up almost 10 percent in value in mid-day trading after the news came out. Stein Mart stock shot up 9.8 percent, or $2.29 a share, to $25.72. Action in the stock was unusually heavy — by mid-day more than tripling the average daily trading volume.