What happened

Shares of Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR)are shedding 20% of their value as of 11:30 a.m. EDT after the specialty apparel and accessories retailer of women's and men's merchandise missed on the top and bottom lines and dished out disappointing 2017 guidance.

So what

If the stock price decline didn't already give it away, it was a tough first quarter for Express investors. Net sales tumbled by 7% to $467 million, which was slightly under the $468.03 million analysts called for. That was driven in large part by the 10% comparable-store sales decrease during the first quarter. The bottom line wasn't much better, with Express reporting a loss of $0.06 per share -- the loss was $0.07 per share when adjusted for non-recurring gains -- which was worse than analyst estimates of a $0.02 loss.

One bright spot was the 27% jump in its e-commerce sales during the first quarter -- it now accounts for 21% of net sales. On the flip side, that also speaks to how poorly its brick-and-mortar sales are doing to offset that growth.

Racks of women's clothing on display in a store

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

According to President and CEO David Kornberg in the press release, "As we look to the balance of the year, we are increasingly optimistic about our ability to drive improved performance. We are excited about our summer and fall assortments and expect continued sales momentum in our e-commerce business, along with sequential improvement in stores."

This has been a recent trend, and although Kornberg is almost obligated to be optimistic, it rings hollow in the face of forward guidance that pales in comparison to analyst estimates. Management now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to check in between $0.41 per share to $0.48 per share, which is below last year's $0.81 per share as well as analyst estimates calling for $0.67 per share.