Stitch Fix storms ahead with expectation-topping sales and earnings

San Francisco-based online personal shopping service Stitch Fix reported a surge of 24% in net revenue in the first quarter of 2019, as subscriber numbers soar and the company reaps the benefits of a model rooted in customer feedback.


Stitch Fix reported net revenues of$366.2 million in Q1 2019 - Instagram: @stitchfix
 
The platform’s net revenue for the first quarter ended October 27, 2018, totaled $366.2 million, up from $295.6 million in the prior-year period.  According to IBES data from Refinitiv quoted on Reuters, analysts had expected the company to post revenues of $358 million for the quarter.  
 
This rise in sales was driven by both an increase in active clients, which now total 2.9 million, reflecting a 22% rise year over year, and a record high in items purchased per sale in the platform’s women’s segment – a fact which helped the company on its way to announcing its second consecutive quarter of growth in sales per customer.
 
Net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $10.7 million, up from the $1.3 million reported in Q1 2018. Earnings per share (EPS) therefore rose from 4 cents to 10 cents, beating out analysts’ estimates of 3 cents.
 
“We continue to demonstrate our ability to deliver growth and exceptional client experiences across all of our categories,” said Stitch Fix President and COO Mike Smith in a release, before going on to highlight a number of brands added to the platform over the course of the quarter, including Michael Kors, Madewell, The North Face, Bonobos and Converse.
 
As Stitch Fix seeks to further penetrate newer categories on the platform, such as men’s and kidswear, it has also introduced exclusive menswear labels Even Tide, Fairlane & Sons and A Frame.

Having added shorter sizes in Q3 2018 in response to feedback from its men’s customers, the company also further expanded its extended sizing options in menswear in Q1 with a big and tall offering.
 
Both initiatives are believed to have helped drive an increase of around 3% in men’s average order value year over year.
 
“All of our assortment investments are deeply rooted in direct feedback from clients, so we’re confident they’re going to love our new additions,” concluded Smith.
 
In a letter to shareholders, Stitch Fix explained that during the quarter it had also placed a renewed emphasis on improving customer re-engagement by personalizing outreach through the use of consumer data.
 
The platform, which was founded in 2011 by current CEO Katrina Lake, announced in October that it has plans to launch in the UK by the end of fiscal 2019 and has already set up a waitlist for interested clients.
 
For the second quarter, the company has issued revenue guidance of between $360 million and $368 million, while full-year 2019 revenues are currently expected to be in the range of $1.49 billion to $1.53 billion.
 
Following the announcement of Stitch Fix’s results on Monday, the company’s shares rose 11% before falling 14% in after-hours trading. The decline after the closing bell was attributed by CNBC to the fact that, despite reflecting strong growth, the platform’s active user total of 2.9 million actually came in under analysts’ expectations of 2.95 million.

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