The Wet Seal, Inc. Earnings: Revenue Increase Helps Margin, Net Income Climbs

The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA) reported its results for the first quarter. Wet Seal, Inc. is a national retailer operating stores selling fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory items designed for female customers aged 13 to 35 years old.

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The Wet Seal Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for The Wet Seal, Inc. rose to $8 million (8 cents/share) vs. $3.1 million (3 cents/share) in the same quarter a year earlier. A more than twofold rise from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 13.3% to $156 million YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: WTSLA fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of 8 cents/share. Estimates ranged from 7 cents per share to 8 cents per share.

Quoting Management: Ms. Susan McGalla, Chief Executive Officer of The Wet Seal, Inc., commented, “We are encouraged by the continued strong performance of our business, which began late last year. For the first quarter, we had our largest comparable store sales increase for any fiscal quarter since 2006 and our highest operating income for any fiscal quarter since 2001. We ended the quarter in April with our fifth month of positive comparable store sales in the last six months, reflecting our efforts to improve merchandise content across all categories in both brands.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s profit increase breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit drops. In fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income fell 93.5% from the year earlier while the figure fell 43.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, 48% four quarters ago and 37.5% five quarters back.

Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. In fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, revenue rose 9.6% to $165.5 million while the figure rose 3.4% in third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier.

Gross margins grew 1.5 percentage points to 34.3%. The growth seemed to be driven by increased revenue, as the figure rose 13.3% from the year earlier quarter while costs rose 10.7%.

Competitors to Watch: Body Central Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:BODY), bebe stores, inc. (NASDAQ:BEBE), dELiA*s, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLIA), Limited Brands, Inc. (NYSE:LTD), The Cato Corporation (NYSE:CATO), Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO), The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSUN), and Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ).

Stock Performance: Shares of WTSLA are unchanged from the previous close.

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