Express started at neutral with $9 stock price target at Wedbush

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Express’ stock soars after profit, sales beat

Shares of Express Inc. soared 8.9% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the apparel retailer reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations. Net income for the quarter to Feb. 3 rose to $29.4 million, or 37 cents a share, from $22.8 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as the impact of recent tax legislation, adjusted earnings per share came to 34 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 32 cents. Revenue rose 2% to $693.8 million from $678.8 million a year ago, above the FactSet consensus of $686.8 million, as the same-store sales decline of 1.0% beat expectations of a 1.9% drop. E-commerce sales increased 20% to $203.3 million, and rose 17% on a comparable basis. The company expects first-quarter same-store to be down 1.0% to up 1.0%, compared with the FactSet consensus of a 0.5% increase. Express’s stock has plunged 28.6% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 3.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 4.3%.

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