Why Citi Trends Shares Jumped

Why Citi Trends Shares Jumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Citi Trends were looking fashionable today, climbing 18% after a better-than-expected second-quarter earnings report.

So what: The retail chain still posted a loss for the quarter at $0.37 a share, but that was better than expectations of a $0.42 loss. Revenue moved up 4.2% to $137.8 million, though that was shy of the analyst consensus at $138.2 million. Comparable sales ticked up a modest 1.7% as the company closed two stores in the quarter, leaving it with a count of 506. There was no management statement in the report, but Citi Trends seems to be moving in the right direction after two earnings misses as gross margin improved from 33.5% a year ago to 35.9%. Its per-share loss improved from $0.54 a year ago.

Now what: Coming during a quarter in which many retailers have come up well short of estimates, the earnings beat was especially encouraging even if Citi Trends finished with a considerable loss. The purveyor of urban brands still has work to do to get back to profitability, but shares are up 70% since May and could move higher if this trend continues. I'd expect analysts to raise their estimates following this report.

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