Express jumps 26% as smaller-than-expected loss meets meme-stock momentum

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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images
  • Express shares jumped 26% after apparel retailer posted a fourth-quarter loss of $US0.66 ($1) a share, less than anticipated.
  • The clothing retailer and fan favorite among Reddit retail investors is aiming for $US1 ($1) billion in online sales.
  • Trading volume of more than 100 million shares outstripped average daily volume.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Express shares staged a double-digit run higher Wednesday after the apparel retailer – and popular stock among retail investors on the Reddit social media platform – included a target of $US1 ($1) billion in online sales in its quarterly results.

Express on Wednesday said it swung to a fourth-quarter adjusted loss of $US0.66 ($1) per share. The result was smaller than the loss of $US0.82 ($1) per share expected by Wall Street analysts. A year earlier, it earned $US0.21 ($0) on an adjusted basis.

The company’s stock leapt 26% to close at $US4.25 ($6) in heavy volume of more than 108 million shares. That compares with an average daily volume of nearly 25 million shares.

Express, alongside GameStop and AMC Entertainment, has been embraced by Reddit’s Wall Street Bets forum where many investors have sought to defend stocks targeted by short-sellers.

Net sales of $US430.3 ($558) million were lower than $US606.7 ($787) million a year earlier but better than the consensus estimate of $US424.7 ($551) million. The company did say had still been seeing pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Express on Wednesday also said it plans to generate $US1 ($1) billion in sales for its ecommerce channel in 2024.

“We are well positioned to accelerate in 2021. I expect sales to continue improving sequentially each quarter, and that we will return to positive EBITDA in the back half of the year,” said Tim Baxter, chief executive of Express, in a statement.