Bon-Ton deep in red, but keeps financial house in order

York, Pa. – Recording a steep loss in its 2008 results, Bon-Ton Stores pointed to ways it will reduce the red ink in 2009, and was rewarded by Wall Street, which sent the share price up more than 16% by midday on moderate trading volume.

In the fourth quarter, the 280-unit department store operator was hit with a net loss of $87.7 million, or $5.22 per diluted share, in a major reversal from its net profit of $75.2 million, or $4.43 EPS one year ago.

In full year results, the net loss was $169.9 million, or $10.12 EPS – way down from earnings of $11.6 million, or 68 cents EPS in 2007.

The Q4 results were heavily impacted by charges amounting to $7.39 per share, mainly the result of the write-down of various “long-lived and intangible assets.”

Sales in the quarter fell 9.4% to $1.03 billion; comps declined 9.7%. Fully year sales of $3.13 billion were down 7.0% as comps declined 7.4%.

Keith Plowman, evp and cfo, outlined the 2009 guidance for negative EPS of $3.40-$4.30, based on a comp-store sales decrease “in the range of 6.5% to 9.0%.”

Financial analysts and shareholders were meant to be reassured by the litany of Bon-Ton’s aggressive moves to cut inventory – year-end 2008 comp store inventory was down 13%, noted president and ceo Bud Bergren – and trim borrowing to a very conservative level. And they apparently were reassured, as the stock price headed above $1.30 for the first time since March 6. Shares have traded below $2.00 since early November.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

CURRENT ISSUE

HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!