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Citi Trends' stock tumbles after apparel retailer swung to a much wider-than-expected loss, citing a 'more selective' customer base

Shares of Citi Trends Inc. (CTRN) plunged 12.9% in premarket trading Tuesday after the urban fashion apparel retailer reported that it swung to a much wider-than-expected fiscal third-quarter loss on sales that fell more than forecast, as a more selective customer navigates higher costs of living. The net loss for the quarter to Oct. 28 was $3.9 million, or 47 cents a share, after net income of $24.6 million, or $3.02 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, the adjusted per-share loss of 54 cents was wider than the FactSet loss consensus of 17 cents. Sales declined 6.7% to $179.5 million, below the FactSet consensus of $186.2 million, as same-store sales fell 6.2% to miss expectations of a 5.4% decline. "Our primarily low-income customer base is being more selective and purchasing much closer to need as they navigate higher costs of living, a buying pattern further impacted by unseasonably warm weather throughout the quarter," said Chief Executive David Makuen. For fiscal 2023, the company now expects sales to be down in the mid-single digit percentage range, compared with previous guidance of negative mid-single digits to negative low-single digits. The stock has rallied 14.7% over the past three months through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.6%.

-Tomi Kilgore

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11-28-23 0711ET

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