Investors looking to plop some money into women's retailers have plenty to choose from. Between classic brands like Ann Taylor
Christopher & Banks' same-store sales for the quarter were up a respectable 3% compared to the same period a year ago. Its revenues from stores opened for at least a year fared much better than that of New York & Co.'s 0.4% for the second quarter, but fell well shy of Chico's off-the-charts mark of 15.7%.
Its same-store sales led to healthy growth in net sales that climbed 14.9%. Unfortunately, its bottom line didn't match the performance of its top line. Net income climbed a paltry 3.7%, with operating margin declining to 7.9% from last year's level of 9%.
Back in April, fellow Fool Dan Bloom highlighted Christopher & Banks' price-cutting efforts as the reason for its lagging earnings growth. In the latest period, CEO Bill Prange advised that it is making improvements with "a lower level of markdowns."
C&B's merchandise inventory as a percentage of sales was another concern indicated by Dan Bloom. The company is making efforts to reign in its inventory levels, with the latest quarter's percentage of sales down to 36.6% from 43.2% a year ago.
All these improvements didn't seem to be good enough -- the market showed the company a cold shoulder, with the stock down more than 7% in the wake of the news. It is currently trading at around 19 times current-year earnings and still doesn't provide the margin of safety needed to counter the lag in its earnings. Until Christopher & Banks can get its earnings up to speed with sales growth, investors have better investment opportunities to choose from elsewhere.
Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy does not own shares of any companies mentioned.