Stein Mart files for bankruptcy, stock sinks 35%

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Stein Mart Inc. announced it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, sending shares down 35.4% in premarket trading. The company plans to close most, if not all, of its stores. The off-price retailer is considering strategic alternatives, including the sale of its e-commerce business and intellectual property. Hunt Hawkins, the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Stein Mart, says the coronavirus and the “challenging” retail environment hurt the company. “The company has determined that the best strategy to maximize value will be a liquidation of its assets pursuant to an organized going out of business sale,” he said in a statement. “The company lacks sufficient liquidity to continue operating in the ordinary course of business.” Stein Mart will continue to operate and pay its workers as a debtor-in-possession through its bankruptcy. Stein Mart stock has plunged 56.3% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 3.2% for the period.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.