Weak fourth-quarter results at Stein Mart

The fashion retailer agreed to a buyout by a private equity firm in January.

  • By Mark Basch
  • | 5:20 a.m. March 19, 2020
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
Stein Mart reported a net loss of $255,000 in the fourth quarter that ended Feb. 1.
Stein Mart reported a net loss of $255,000 in the fourth quarter that ended Feb. 1.
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In what could be our last look at Stein Mart Inc.’s finances, the Jacksonville-based fashion retailer last week reported a slow holiday season.

Stein Mart, which has agreed to a buyout by a private equity firm, reported a net loss of $255,000, or 1 cent a share, for its fourth quarter ended Feb. 1.

For its entire fiscal year, Stein Mart had a net loss of $10.5 million, or 22 cents a share.

The company launched several programs to increase sales in the summer and fall last year but in the fourth quarter, comparable-store sales increased by just 0.1%.

Comparable-store sales, or sales at stores open for more than one year, are considered a key indicator of a retailer’s performance.

Total sales in the quarter fell 1.2% to $336.6 million, because the company closed four stores in fiscal 2019.

Stein Mart operated 283 stores across the country at the end of the fiscal year and said it closed two more in February this year.

Like other retailers, Stein Mart on March 18 announced it is temporarily closing all stores through at least March 31 because of COVID-19.

For the full year, total sales fell 3% to $1.22 billion and comparable-store sales decreased 1.4%. 

One positive for the company was online sales rose 11% in 2019.

Because of the pending buyout by Kingswood Capital Management, Stein Mart officials did not have a conference call to discuss quarterly results.

An affiliate of Kingswood agreed in January to buy all shares not owned by Stein Mart Chairman Jay Stein for 90 cents a share.

Stein will continue to own about one-third of the company after the buyout.

The deal is expected to be completed by mid-2020, so Stein Mart may not be issuing any more quarterly financial updates.

However, the impact of the coronavirus could change the timing. Stein Mart needs shareholder approval of the buyout offer. 

While the company in February filed a preliminary proxy statement, it has not scheduled a shareholders meeting and the new coronavirus could make it difficult to hold one.

Stein Mart’s stock was trading at 65 cents before the deal was announced Jan. 31 and the stock was trading mainly between 88 and 89 cents for most of February. However, the stock dropped sharply with the rest of the market during the coronavirus-related sell-off, falling to a low of 35 cents March 18.

The company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings related to the merger do not say if the purchase price can be revised if market conditions change.

The Wrench Group buys Donovan Heat and Air

The Wrench Group announced last week it acquired Donovan Heat and Air Inc., which serves the Jacksonville and St. Augustine markets.

Bill and London Donovan founded Donovan Heat and Air in 1987.  Their sons Kyle and Joel will continue to run the Jacksonville organization under its existing brand, Wrench said.

Wrench is a home repair and maintenance company based in Marietta, Georgia. The company has expanded in Florida with recent acquisitions of air conditioning businesses in Tampa and Naples.

 “Part of Wrench’s strategy is to partner with market leaders, and Donovan has an outstanding reputation in the Jacksonville area, and has experienced very impressive organic growth over many years,” Wrench CEO Ken Haines said in a news release.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

International Baler sales fall in first quarter

International Baler Corp. reported a net loss of 184,481, or 4 cents a share, in the first quarter ended Jan. 31.

The Jacksonville-based maker of balers used for recycling and waste disposal said sales in the quarter fell 19% to $2.01 million.

International Baler’s quarterly report filed with the SEC said the sales drop resulted from “market conditions.”

Coach seeks new CEO after Shulman leaves

Tapestry Inc. last week said it is searching for a new CEO for its Coach fashion accessories brand.

The company, which also owns the Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands, said Joshua Schulman will leave as head of Coach after a transition period, while the company looks for a successor.

Tapestry CEO Jide Zeitlin is staying with the company for three years, the company said.

Coach, which handles all North American distribution from a warehouse at the Jacksonville International Tradeport, grew sales in the second quarter ended Dec. 28 while the other two Tapestry brands reported declines.

Total Coach sales rose 2% to $1.27 billion and comparable-store sales also increased 2%.



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