Chico’s FAS, Inc. Reports Third Quarter Results

Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE: CHS) (the “Company” or “Chico’s FAS”) today announced its financial results for the thirteen weeks ended October 29, 2022 (the “third quarter”). The Company also provided fiscal 2022 fourth quarter outlook.

Molly Langenstein, Chico’s FAS Chief Executive Officer and President, commented, “Our robust momentum continued into the back half of the year. We posted another quarter of outstanding operating income and EPS performance, resulting from continued strong store and digital sales growth and solid expense leverage. The power of our portfolio of three unique brands and execution of our strategic pillars of being customer led, product obsessed, digital first, and operationally excellent are driving our performance.

“Apparel was once again the leading performer for the quarter, with Chico’s® posting a 29% comparable sales increase and White House Black Market® generating a 17% comparable sales gain. Customers responded to our elevated fashion and product offerings across our apparel categories. Our Soma® performance improved compared to the second quarter, with particular strength in our foundations business. We continue to make investments in cutting-edge product innovation, and we are excited to welcome Chris Munnelly as SVP of Merchandising and Design at Soma to help guide the evolution and maximize the potential of this dynamic brand.”

Langenstein concluded, “Our strong performance and quarter-after-quarter momentum demonstrate that our strategy is working. We are very pleased with the progress toward our long-term goals and remain confident in our ability to create meaningful shareholder value.”

Business Highlights
The Company’s third quarter highlights include:
*Consistent strong results : Chico’s FAS posted $0.20 net income per diluted share for the third quarter, driven by strong comparable sales growth and selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) leverage. This performance was more than 30% over the thirteen weeks ended October 30, 2021 (“last year’s third quarter”) and the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year double-digit earnings growth.
*Powerful portfolio performance : For the third quarter, total Chico’s FAS net sales grew 14.3% and comparable sales increased 16.5% versus last year’s third quarter, led by the Company’s apparel brands. Chico’s and White House Black Market (“WHBM”) comparable sales grew 28.8% and 17.0%, respectively, in the third quarter versus last year’s third quarter.
*Solid operating income growth: Third quarter income from operations was $31.6 million, or 6.1% of net sales, compared to $22.0 million, or 4.9% of net sales, in last year’s third quarter, driven by strong sales growth and SG&A leverage, partially offset by higher raw material costs.
*Strong balance sheet: The Company ended the third quarter with $140.7 million in cash and marketable securities, after repaying $30.0 million of long-term debt during the quarter.
*Marketing drove traffic and new customers : Chico’s FAS continued to elevate its marketing, focusing more resources on digital. Strategic marketing efforts continue to drive more customers to the Company’s brands, with total year-over-year customer count up high-single digits, spend per customer up over last year’s third quarter and the average age of new customers continuing to trend younger.
*New loyalty programs exceeding expectations : For the third quarter, enrollment, customer sentiment, and redemption rates continue to exceed expectations.

Overview of Financial Results
For the third quarter, the Company reported net income of $24.6 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, compared to net income of $18.2 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, for last year’s third quarter. Net income for last year’s third quarter included $3.9 million after-tax in legal settlement charges as presented in the accompanying GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation.

For the third quarter, net sales were $518.3 million compared to $453.6 million in last year’s third quarter. This 14.3% improvement primarily reflects a comparable sales increase of 16.5%, partially offset by 18 permanent net store closures since last year’s third quarter. The 16.5% comparable sales improvement was driven by an increase in transaction count, partially offset by a decrease in average dollar sale.
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