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Stitch Fix Earnings: Will the Stock Unravel Again Post-Earnings Release?

By Beth McKenna - May 23, 2021 at 1:30PM

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Shares of the online personalized styling service tend to move big -- up or down -- after quarterly earnings are released.

Stitch Fix (SFIX 4.20%) is slated to report its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 (which ended May 1) after the market close on Monday, June 7. A conference call is scheduled for that day at 5 p.m. EDT.

Many investors will probably be approaching the online personalized apparel retailer's report with apprehension. Last quarter, shares plunged 28% following the company missing Wall Street's revenue expectation and lowering its revenue guidance for the full fiscal year.

That said, there is also reason for cautious optimism. Thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, many people are venturing out more -- or planning to soon do so -- which is helping to boost apparel retail sales and sales of other consumer discretionary products. Moreover, many U.S. adults were not eligible to be vaccinated until April and even many of the vaccinated are still being somewhat cautious. So, online shopping, in general, was still no doubt getting a tailwind from the pandemic during Stitch Fix's fiscal third quarter. 

In 2021, Stitch Fix stock is down 20% through May 21, while the S&P 500 has returned about 11%. However, the stock remains a winner over the last year, as it's up 111% versus the broader market's 43% return, as shown in the chart near the end of this article.

Here's what to watch in the company's upcoming report. 

Close-up of a Stitch Fix package leaning against a bright yellow door surrounded by white trim.

Image source: Stitch Fix.

Key numbers

Metric Fiscal Q3 2020 Result Stitch Fix's Fiscal Q3 2021 Guidance  Wall Street's Fiscal Q3 2021 Consensus Estimate Wall Street's Projected Change YOY

Revenue

$371.7 million

$505 million to $515 million

$510.5 million

37%

Earnings per share (EPS)

($0.33)

N/A

($0.27) N/A. Loss expected to narrow 18%.

Data sources: Stitch Fix (year-ago results) and Yahoo! Finance (estimates). Fiscal Q3 period ended on May 1. YOY = year over year. Note: Stitch Fix doesn't provide earnings guidance. 

Stitch Fix has a fairly easy comparable, since revenue fell 9% year over year in the year-ago period. That period, essentially February through April 2020, included the start of the pandemic, at least in the United States and most countries outside of China. 

For context, last quarter (which included the major end-of-year holidays) Stitch Fix's sales rose 12% year over year to $504.1 million, falling short of the $512.2 million Wall Street had expected, as well as the company's guidance of $506 million to $515 million.

Last quarter's net loss was $21 million, or $0.20 per share. Analysts had been projecting a loss per share of $0.22, so the company slightly beat this expectation. However, the bottom line would have been much worse had it not been for an income tax benefit of $18.8 million.

Key customer metrics

Investors should continue to focus on the two key metrics driving revenue growth: total number of active clients and average annual revenue per client. Stitch Fix defines an "active client" as a customer who has bought at least one item from it in the last 52 weeks. 

Last quarter, the number of active clients increased 12% year over year to nearly 3.9 million. Average net annual revenue per client fell 7% year over year to $467. 

SFIX Chart

Data by YCharts.

Guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter

Management's outlook will be important since the market looks ahead. The stock-price movement on the day following the earnings release will probably be largely driven by the company's Q4 guidance.

That said, investors shouldn't place too much faith in guidance.  The pandemic has made it difficult for many companies to provide an accurate outlook.

For fiscal Q4 (essentially the May-to-July period), Wall Street is modeling for revenue to rise nearly 21% year over year to $534.5 million and expects loss per share to narrow 57% to $0.19.

Beth McKenna has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Stitch Fix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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