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Stein Mart’s Financial Results

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Stein Mart announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 29, 2005.

For the fourth quarter of 2004, the Company earned $22.8 million or $0.53 per diluted share, a 65 percent increase over net income of $13.9 million or $0.33 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $444.9 million, an 8.8 percent increase over the $408.9 million in sales for the fourth quarter of 2003. Comparable store sales increased 8.0 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003 to the fourth quarter of 2004.

Gross profit increased to $130.2 million, or 29.3 percent of sales in the fourth quarter of 2004 compared to $112.4 million, or 27.5 percent of sales in the same period of 2003. Gross profit was favorably impacted by a 0.5 percentage point improvement in shrinkage from last year; this represents the second year of better-than-expected inventory results from a restructured loss prevention organization and enhanced systems.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses rose to $97.4 million or 21.9 percent of sales as compared to $90.9 million or 22.2 percent of sales during the prior year’s fourth quarter. Included in SG&A for the fourth quarter of 2004 and 2003 were store closing and asset impairment charges of $3.2 million (including stores closing in 2005) and $1.6 million, respectively.

For the fifty-two week fiscal year 2004, the Company earned $38.0 million or $0.89 per diluted share as compared to earnings of $2.2 million or $0.05 per diluted share in 2003.

Net sales were $1.460 billion, an 8.0 percent increase from the $1.352 billion in sales for 2003. Comparable stores sales increased 9.1 percent for the year.

Gross profit was $390.0 million, or 26.7 percent of sales for fiscal 2004 compared to $339.8 million, or 25.1 percent of sales in the same period of 2003.

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased to $343.2 million or 23.5 percent of sales as compared to $344.7 million or 25.5 percent of sales during fiscal 2003. Included in SG&A for fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2003 were store closing and asset impairment charges of $4.7 million and $12.0 million, respectively.

During 2004, Stein Mart opened seven new stores, relocated two stores and closed seven locations. The seven closed stores’ aggregate loss from operations during 2004 was $3.8 million or $0.06 per share. The Company exited one market in the first quarter of 2004; therefore, that store is reported as a “discontinued operation” in 2004 and joins two other stores as discontinued operations for 2003 as required by SFAS 144 in the Statements of Operations. Stein Mart ended fiscal 2004 with 261 stores as compared with 261 stores at the end of 2003.

“The strength of our 2004 business is a direct result of our initiatives over the past two years: creating a distinctive fashion assortment, delivering it more frequently to our stores to promote newness, offering compelling prices on merchandise, and supporting both full price and seasonal clearance with a more clearly defined marketing plan,” commented Michael D. Fisher, president and chief executive officer. “Our inventories are fresh and well- controlled, our store level productivity is greatly improved, our real estate portfolio is stronger than ever, and we believe we have a solid platform for further growth and improvement.”

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Stein Mart’s Financial Results
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