Designer Brands Inc. reports sales decline in Q4 and FY 2023

Designer Brands Inc. has released its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2023. The company reported a decrease in net sales by 0.8% to $754.3 million for the fourth quarter. Total comparable sales also decreased by 7.3% in the same period. Gross profit decreased to $207.4 million compared to $222.0 million in the previous year, and gross margin was 27.5% compared to 29.2%.

For the full year 2023, net sales decreased by 7.3% to $3.1 billion, with total comparable sales decreasing by 9.0%. Gross profit decreased to $1.0 billion versus $1.1 billion in the previous year, and gross margin was 31.7% compared to 32.6%.

The reported net loss attributable to Designer Brands Inc. was $29.7 million, or a loss per diluted share of $0.52 for the fourth quarter. For the full year, the reported net income attributable to Designer Brands Inc. was $29.1 million, or diluted earnings per share ("EPS") of $0.46. The adjusted net income for the full year was $43.2 million, or adjusted diluted EPS of $0.68.

In terms of liquidity, the company's cash and cash equivalents totaled $49.2 million at the end of 2023, compared to $58.8 million at the end of 2022. The net cash provided by operating activities was $162.4 million for 2023 compared to $201.4 million in the previous year. The company's inventories totaled $571.3 million at the end of 2023, compared to $605.7 million at the end of 2022.

The company also provided its financial outlook for the full year 2024, with guidance for low-single digits net sales growth and diluted EPS in the range of $0.70 to $0.80.

During 2023, Designer Brands Inc. repurchased an aggregate 9.7 million class A common shares at an aggregate cost of $102.2 million. As of February 3, 2024, $87.7 million of class A common shares remained available for future repurchase under the share repurchase program.

The company also announced a dividend of $0.05 per share of class A and class B common shares to be paid on April 12, 2024, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 29, 2024.

In terms of store operations, during the fourth quarter of 2023, the company opened one store and closed one store in the U.S. and closed one store in Canada, resulting in a total of 499 stores in the U.S. and 143 stores in Canada as of February 3, 2024.

Designer Brands Inc. is hosting a conference call to discuss the financial results and the outlook for 2024. The company is focused on returning to growth in 2024 and has outlined initiatives to improve financial performance throughout the year. Today the company's shares have moved -4.2% to a price of $11.04. For the full picture, make sure to review Designer Brands's 8-K report.

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