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At Home shares plummet to record close after earnings miss, stock downgrade

Tonya Garcia

At Home Inc. shares took a 57.2% nosedive in Thursday trading, a one-day percentage decline record, after the home-decor retailer reported an earnings miss and was downgraded at Wells Fargo. "This marks yet another frustrating chapter in the At Home story, which saw comp variability, spotty execution and a CFO transition last year, and already steep margin compression this year from lease accounting (-90 basis points) and a new distribution (-90 basis points)," wrote Wells Fargo analysts. Wells Fargo moved At Home stock to market perform from outperform and slashed the price target to $9 from $27. The company said weather was a challenge, as it was for a number of retailers. "Because of the challenging weather, we have already taken swift markdown actions in order to sell through the necessary product at lower than expected margins and head into the fall in a cleaner inventory position," said Chief Executive Lee Bird in a statement. At Home stock is down nearly 60% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 13.4% for the period.