Burlington Stores Inc. stock slid 1.7% in premarket trade Tuesday before reversing those losses to trade flat, after the discount clothing retailer posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings and Chief Executive Michael O’Sullivan said it was “not happy” with its performance. The company had net income of $17 million, or 26 cents a share, for the quarter, up from $14 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 43 cents, below the 52 cent FactSet consensus. Sales fell 11% to $2.036 billion, also below the $2.055 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales fell 17%, while FactSet was forecasting a 16.6% decline. “As we said on our August earnings call, as an off-price retailer we should be able to perform better in this environment despite the significant macro headwinds,” said O’Sullivan. “Recent results from other off-price retailers reinforce this view.” The customers’ frame of reference for value shifted significantly in 2022, he added, and Burlington did not react aggressively enough. But the company is upbeat for 2023 and believes it can set up well for off-price. “We also recognize that we will be lapping our own execution mistakes and under-performance from 2022. Based on these factors we believe that we can start to drive significant sales, margin, and earnings recovery next year,” he said. The company is now expecting full-year same-store sales to fall 15% to 14%, compared with a FactSet consensus for a decline of 14.6%. It expects adjusted EPS of $3.77 to $4.07, compared with a FactSet consensus of $4.00. Shares have fallen 46% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 17%.
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