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Express stock tumbles 13% premarket as loss widens in highly promotional inflationary environment

Express Inc.'s stock (EXPR) tumbled 13% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the clothing retailer posted a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and weaker-than-expected sales . Columbus, Ohio-based Express had a net loss of $73.4 million, or 99 cents a share, for the quarter to April 29, wider than the loss of $11.9 million, or 18 cents a share, posted in the year-earlier period. Sales fell 15% to $383.3 million from $450.8 million. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of 79 cents and sales of $389.0 million. Same-store sales fell 14%, "due to a combination of external factors and challenges in our product assortments. The reduced consumer spending, increased price sensitivity in discretionary categories and aggressive promotional activity across the industry that began in 2022 continued into the first quarter of this year and negatively impacted our performance," said CEO Tim Baxter. Express is now in the midst of an overhaul of its business with the aim of restoring it to profitability with partner WHP Global, he said. The company in January committed to cost cuts of $40 million in 2023 and has now identified another $25 million to be cut this year. It also completed the acquisition of Bonobos with WHP, which is expected to boost e-commerce. The company paid owner Walmart $75 million to take over the online retailer. The stock is down 20% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%.

-Ciara Linnane

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05-24-23 0743ET

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