Zumiez shares slide as key sales figure drops

Zumiez cuts 4Q outlook after key sales figure falls 2.4 percent in December; shares fall

Associated Press

Shares of Zumiez Inc. fell in after-hours trading Wednesday after the sports clothing and shoe retailer cut its fourth-quarter outlook on weak sales trends in December.

The company said its sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.4 percent for the five weeks through Jan. 4 compared with the year before. Analysts expected a 1.6 percent gain, according to Thomson Reuters. The measure is considered a key indicator a retailer's financial health because it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.

Total sales during the period rose 4.2 percent to $125.3 million.

Zumiez cut its earnings guidance for the quarter that runs through January — the key holiday shopping period — to between 56 cents and 59 cents per share. It had previously predicted profit of 60 cents to 66 cents per share. Analysts expected earnings of 69 cents per share, according to FactSet.

It lowered its revenue outlook to $226 million to $229 million from its prior forecast of $230 million to $237 million. Analysts predicted $235.1 million.

Zumiez, which is based in Lynnwood, Wash., operates 553 stores under the Zumiez and Blue Tomato names.

In after-hours trading, Zumiez shares fell $1.68, or 6.4 percent, to $24.50. They closed at $26.18 Wednesday, up 24 percent over the past 12 months.

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