Express Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 30, 2017 • 09:00 am ET

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Express Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Greetings and welcome to the Express, Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Mr. Mark Rupe, Vice President of Investor Relations for Express. Thank you, you may begin.

Executive
Mark Rupe

Thank you, Melissa. Good morning and welcome to our call. I'd like to open by reminding you of the company's Safe Harbor provisions. (Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements) In addition, during this call, we will make reference to adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share, which are non-GAAP measures. Information necessary to reconcile these non-GAAP measures to net income and diluted earnings per share can be found in our Press Release and in the Investor presentation, which has been filed with the SEC and are available on the company's Investor Relations website. Our comments today will supplement the detailed information provided in both the Press Release and the Investor Presentation.

With me today are David Kornberg, President and CEO, Matt Moellering, Executive Vice President and COO, and Perry Pericleous, Senior Vice President and CFO.

I will now turn the call over to David.

Executive
David Kornberg

Thank you, Mark. Good morning and thank you for joining us. Our country has been impacted by a number of natural disasters and unfortunate events that have weighed heavily upon us all. As an organization we provided help and support to many associates within the Express family affected by these tragedies.

Our people are of major importance to us and are paramount to our brand. I'm proud of the resilience those affected have shown, along with their ability to manage through adversity. I would also like to thank our local teams for their tremendous efforts and leadership in the face of these challenges and the broader organization to providing donations to support both our associates and other relief efforts. Approximately 16% of our stores were directly affected by hurricane activity in the third quarter, resulting in temporary store closures that negatively impacted net sales and earnings by approximately 1% and $0.02 per share respectively. Even in these difficult times we worked hard to maintain our momentum.

Our third quarter results came in at the top end of our guidance, when excluding the hurricane impact demonstrating that our holistic approach to driving improved sales and profitability is gaining traction in a transformative retail environment. Comparable sales of negative 1% continued to sequentially improve and were unaffected by the hurricanes, consistent with our comp methodology that removed temporary store closures. EPS was $0.08 and included a negative impact related to the hurricanes of approximately $0.02.

Some of the key highlights in the quarter included another outstanding performance in eCommerce with sales increasing 23% on top of 15% growth in the same period a year ago, further sequential improvement in our retail store performance driven by merchandise that resonates with our customers and greater