Sticking with the retail sector for a moment, Charlotte Russe joined J.C. Penney in the earnings confessional this morning, as it posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $8.43 million, or 33 cents per share. These results were down from its year-ago results of $24.3 million, or 97 cents per share, when results were boosted in part by discontinued operations. However, the firm still beat the Street estimate by a penny. Sales during the 3-month period climbed to $190.3 million, while analysts had predicted $190.4 million in revenue. Charlotte Russe's same-store sales fell 5.3% during the period.
Looking ahead, CHIC forecasts a flat to low single-digit decline in same-store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. In addition, the company sees earnings from continuing operations of 47 cents to 50 cents per share for the quarter.
In electronic trading this morning, the shares of CHIC are up more than 13% on the company earnings report. Prior to today, the equity has been trapped in a downtrend since late January, shedding roughly 58%. The stock could enjoy a boost from short sellers today. Roughly 2.6 million CHIC have been sold short, accounting for approximately 11% of the company's total float. An unwinding of these bearish bets could add some lift to the shares. What's more, CHIC could benefit from upgrades, as 10 of the 11 analysts following the retailer rate it a hold.