Express’ stock surges after unveiling new ‘profitable growth’ strategy, to close 100 stores in 2 years

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Shares of Express Inc. surged 4.1% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the apparel retailer unveiled a new corporate strategy aimed at profitable growth, narrowed its fiscal fourth-quarter profit outlook and said it will close 100 stores by 2022. The company now expects adjusted earnings per share of 17 cents to 19 cents, compared with the previous guidance range of 16 cents to 21 cents. Express said it expects same-stores sales for the quarter to be down approximately 3% from a year ago, versus previous guidance of down 1% to down 3%. The company said the planned store closures would reduce revenue by $90 million by 2022, but that will be offset by the elimination of costs and by leveraging the remaining stores for additional sales. Express said it has identified $80 million in annualized cost savings, including $55 million through workforce reductions and $25 million through process improvement and inventory optimization. The stock has declined 21.0% over the past 12 months through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 4.3% and the S&P 500 has climbed 26.1%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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