For the thirteen weeks ended May 4, 2019, Chico’s reported net income of 2 million dollars or 2 cents per diluted share compared to 29 million dollars or 23 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter last year. The company reported first quarter adjusted net income of 5.6 million dollars or 5 cents per diluted share. The company said, net sales were 517.7 million dollars, down 7.8 percent reflecting a comparable sales decline of 7 percent as well as the impact of 41 net store closures since last year's first quarter.
"In the first quarter, we made significant changes to the company's leadership and reset priorities for its growth and value creation," said Bonnie Brooks, interim CEO and President of Chico’s Fas in a statement, adding, "Actions are now underway across all brands with a focus on three distinct areas that will positively impact our results."
For the first quarter, gross margin was 190.8 million dollars or 36.9 percent of net sales compared to 226.9 million dollars or 40.4 percent of net sales, in last year's first quarter, a decrease of 350-basis points.
For the fiscal 2019 second quarter, the company anticipates a mid-single digit decline in total net sales and consolidated comparable sales, reflecting expected softer sales in its White House Black Market brand, which will continue through the second quarter. However, the company expects that sales at the Chico's and Soma brands will improve in the second quarter compared to the first. The company expects gross margin as a percent of net sales to decline approximately 200 to 250 basis points.
For full year the company expects a low-to mid-single digit decline in total net sales and consolidated comparable sales, versus its previous guidance of a low-single digit decline in total net sales and consolidated comparable sales. The company expects stronger sales trends across all brands in the second half of the year, as key initiatives gain traction. The company expects gross margin as a percent of net sales to be down 50 to 100 basis points versus its previous guidance of approximately flat to down 50 basis points.