Duluth Trading may have sold more of its Longtail T-shirts and Fire Hose cargo pants, but the stock price of parent company Duluth Holdings dropped 25% in trading Friday after the company released its quarterly financial report.
In the fourth fiscal quarter that ended Feb. 3, 2019, Duluth sales rose to $250.5 million, up from $217.8 million from the 2017 fourth quarter. The most recent period included a 53rd week that did not occur in 2017; that produced $7.7 million of the sales.
Net income for the quarter was $20.8 million, or 64 cents a share, up from $19.5 million, or 60 cents a share.
CEO Stephanie Pugliese said holiday shopping sales started well, but as December wore on, consumer spending declined and the company had inventory glitches.
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“Some of our high-demand product didn’t hit the market in time to reach the full benefit of the holiday season,” Pugliese said, including “some of our highest volume sizes of our women’s Plus Size program.”
For the full 2018 fiscal year, Duluth Holdings reported $568.1 million in sales, including the extra week, up from $471.4 million for fiscal 2017. Net income was $23.3 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with $23.4 million, or 72 cents a share, the year before.
Fifteen stores opened in 2018, raising the total to 46 Duluth Trading stores. The company also put in a new order management system and e-commerce platform and upgraded its Belleville distribution center — changes that will put Duluth in a “stronger competitive position for the future,” Pugliese said. It also opened its new, $20 million headquarters in Mount Horeb.
Analysts expected higher sales, though, especially from the stores. While the new software may have played into the problems, “there is a worrying amount of deterioration in store productivity to warrant concern,” analyst Dylan Carden, of the William Blair investment firm, wrote in a research note.
Duluth Holdings stock closed Friday at $17.60, down $5.94 a share, or 25%, from the day before.