updated 12/22/2010 4:46:55 PM ET 2010-12-22T21:46:55

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec 22, 2010 -- Christopher & Banks Corporation (NYSE:CBK) , a specialty women's apparel retailer, today reported results for the third fiscal quarter and nine month period ended November 27, 2010.

Results for the Three Months Ended November 27, 2010

Total net sales for the third quarter were $120.9 million, as compared to $132.0 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Same store sales decreased 7% in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Gross profit decreased 19.3% to $43.4 million, as compared to $53.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Gross profit margin was 35.9% for the third quarter of fiscal 2011, as compared to 40.8% in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Operating loss totaled $0.2 million, including a non-recurring pre-tax severance charge of approximately $1.0 million related to the separation of the Company's former Chief Executive Officer. This compares to operating income of $9.8 million in the same period last year. Net loss totaled $9.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, including a one-time non-cash charge resulting from recording a $12.9 million, or $0.36 per share, valuation allowance related to the Company's deferred tax assets as discussed further below. The valuation allowance recorded in the Company's income tax provision was partially offset by approximately $3.8 million of tax benefit in the third quarter. The Company reported net income of $7.0 million, or $0.19 per diluted share in the third quarter of fiscal 2010.

Results for the Nine Months Ended November 27, 2010

Total net sales were $348.5 million, as compared to $353.5 million for the nine months ended November 27, 2010. Same store sales declined 1% in the first nine months of fiscal 2011. Operating income totaled $6.0 million, or 1.7% of net sales, including non-recurring pre-tax severance charges of approximately $1.5 million related to the separation of the Company's former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. This compares to operating income of $8.8 million, or 2.5% of net sales, for the comparable nine month period last year. Net loss totaled $5.4 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $6.5 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the first nine months of fiscal 2010. This included a non-recurring severance charge of approximately $0.01 per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2011, a non-recurring severance charge of approximately $0.02 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and a non-cash charge of $0.36 per share related to the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets referenced above.

Larry Barenbaum, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are clearly disappointed with our performance for the third quarter. We intend to re-establish our presence in the specialty apparel sector by focusing primarily on developing merchandise assortments that are new, fresh and offer an updated feel and fit; enhancing our product design; and better leveraging our relationships with both current and new vendors. In addition, we are focused on improving our in-store experience through enhanced visual presentation and exceptional customer service. I am very optimistic about our future opportunities as we execute on these initiatives."

Non-Cash Charge Related to Valuation Allowance on Deferred Tax Assets

As noted above, the Company also announced that it recorded a non-cash charge of $12.9 million, or $0.36 per share, included within its provision for income taxes in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. This charge relates to the Company's determination that a full valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets is necessary in order to reflect the Company's current assessment of its ability to realize the benefits of those deferred tax assets. The Company made this determination in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles after weighing the available evidence, which included a projected three-year historical cumulative loss related to earnings before taxes as of the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Recording the valuation allowance does not have any impact on cash, nor does such an allowance preclude the Company from utilizing its deferred tax assets in future profitable periods.

Third Quarter Balance Sheet Highlights

The Company ended the third quarter of fiscal 2011 with total cash, cash-equivalents and investments of $102.3 million. Inventory, excluding e-Commerce inventory, increased 12% on a per-store basis at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2011, as compared to the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2010. The Company's balance sheet remains strong and management believes that its cash, cash-equivalents and investments are sufficient to meet the Company's cash and liquidity needs for the current fiscal year.

Capital Expenditures

The Company funded approximately $7.3 million of capital expenditures during the first nine months of fiscal 2011.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2011 Outlook

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company expects same store sales to be flat to up low single digits as compared to the fourth quarter of last year. Total gross margin is expected to decrease by 400 to 500 basis points in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, as compared to last year's fourth quarter, due to increased promotional activity and higher product costs, somewhat offset by the anticipated leveraging of buying and occupancy costs. SG&A expense dollars in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 are expected to be approximately the same as in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Capital expenditures are expected to be $10 to $11 million for the full fiscal year.

Conference Call Information

The Company will discuss its third quarter results in a conference call scheduled for today, December 22, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. The conference call will be simultaneously broadcast live over the Internet at http://www.christopherandbanks.com. An online archive of the broadcast will be available within one hour of the completion of the call and will be accessible at http://www.christopherandbanks.com until December 29, 2010. In addition, an audio replay of the call will be available shortly after its conclusion and will be archived until December 29, 2010. This call may be accessed by dialing (877) 870-5176 and using passcode 1622024.

About Christopher & Banks

Christopher & Banks Corporation is a Minneapolis-based specialty retailer of women's clothing. As of December 22, 2010, the Company operates 789 stores in 46 states consisting of 528 Christopher & Banks stores, 257 stores in their plus size clothing division CJ Banks, two dual-concept stores and two outlet stores. The Company also operates the www.ChristopherandBanks.com and www.CJBanks.com e-Commerce websites.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements, made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements may use the words "expect", "anticipate", "plan", "intend", "project", "believe" and similar expressions and include statements (i) that the Company intends to re-establish its presence in the specialty apparel sector by focusing primarily on developing merchandise assortments that are new, fresh and offer an updated feel and fit; enhancing its product design; and better leveraging of its relationships with both current and new vendors; (ii) that the Company is optimistic about its future opportunities as it executes on its initiatives ; (iii) that management believes that its cash, cash equivalents and investments are sufficient to meet the Company's cash and liquidity needs for the current fiscal year; (iv) that for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company expects same-store sales to be flat to up low single digits as compared to the fourth quarter of last year; (v) that total gross margin is expected to decrease by 400 to 500 basis points in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, as compared to last year's fourth quarter, due to increased promotional activity and higher product costs, somewhat offset by the anticipated leveraging of buying and occupancy costs; (vi) that SG&A expense dollars are expected to be approximately the same as reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2011; and (vii) that capital expenditures are expected to be $10 to $11 million for the full fiscal year. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) the inherent difficulty in forecasting consumer buying and retail traffic patterns which may be affected by factors beyond our control, such as a weakness in overall consumer demand; adverse weather, economic or political conditions; and shifts in consumer tastes or spending habits that result in reduced sales; (ii) lack of acceptance of the Company's fashions, including its seasonal fashions; (iii) the ability of the Company's infrastructure and systems to adequately support our operations; (iv) effectiveness of the Company's brand awareness and marketing programs; (v) the possibility that, because of poor customer response to our merchandise, management may determine it is necessary to sell merchandise at lower than expected margins or at a loss; (vi) the failure to successfully implement the Company's strategic plans; (vii) general economic conditions could lead to a reduction in store traffic and in consumer spending on women's apparel; (viii) fluctuations in the levels of the Company's sales, expenses or earnings; and (ix) risks associated with the performance and operations of the Company's Internet operations.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. The Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement at any time for any reason.

Certain other factors that may cause actual results to differ from such forward-looking statements are included in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on the Company's website under "Investor Relations" and you are urged to carefully consider all such factors.


                                            CHRISTOPHER & BANKS CORPORATION
                                          UNAUDITED COMPARATIVE BALANCE SHEET
                                                    (in thousands)

                                                                                  November 27,         November 28,
                                                                                      2010                 2009
                                                                               -------------------  -------------------
ASSETS
Current assets:
              Cash and cash equivalents                                           $   30,578           $   43,518
              Short-term investments                                                  53,482               48,968
              Merchandise inventories                                                 45,973               41,824
              Other current assets                                                    13,001               14,910
                                                                                    --------             --------
                                  Total current assets                               143,034              149,220
                                                                                    --------             --------
Property, equipment and improvements, net                                             83,955              104,709
                                                                                    --------             --------
Other assets:
              Long-term investments                                                   18,200                9,669
              Other                                                                      314                8,134
                                                                                    --------             --------
                                  Total other assets                                  18,514               17,803
                                                                                    --------             --------
                                  Total assets                                    $  245,503           $  271,732
                                                                                  ==========           ==========
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities:
              Accounts payable                                                    $    7,803           $    6,491
              Accrued liabilities                                                     26,525               29,363
                                                                                    --------             --------
                                  Total current liabilities                           34,328               35,854
                                                                                    --------             --------
Other liabilities:
              Deferred lease incentives                                               16,518               20,755
              Other                                                                   11,319               13,338
                                                                                    --------             --------
                                  Total other liabilities                             27,837               34,093
                                                                                    --------             --------
Stockholders' equity:
              Common stock                                                               454                  458
              Additional paid-in capital                                             115,095              113,139
              Retained earnings                                                      180,521              200,864
              Common stock held in treasury                                         (112,711)           (112,712)
              Accumulated other comprehensive income                                     (21)                 36
                                                                                    --------             --------
                                  Total stockholders' equity                         183,338              201,785
                                                                                    --------             --------
                                  Total liabilities and stockholders' equity      $  245,503           $  271,732
                                                                                  ==========           ==========




                                                 CHRISTOPHER & BANKS CORPORATION
                                             UNAUDITED COMPARATIVE INCOME STATEMENT
                                          FOR THE QUARTERS ENDED AND NINE MONTHS ENDED
                                             NOVEMBER 27, 2010 AND NOVEMBER 28, 2009
                                              (in thousands, except per share data)

                                                                    Quarter Ended                      Nine Months Ended
                                                         -----------------------------------  -----------------------------------
                                                            November 27,      November 28,       November 27,      November 28,
                                                                2010              2009               2010              2009
                                                         ------------------  ---------------  ------------------  ---------------
Net sales                                                   $ 120,947             $ 132,000      $ 348,521             $ 353,549
Costs and expenses:
            Merchandise, buying and occupancy                  77,549                78,205        215,941               219,816
            Selling, general and administrative                37,585                37,535        107,579               105,898
            Depreciation and amortization                       6,010                 6,469         18,974                19,066
                                                              -------               -------        -------               -------
                              Total costs and expenses        121,144               122,209        342,494               344,780
                                                              -------               -------        -------               -------
            Operating income (loss)                              (197)                9,791          6,027                 8,769
Interest income                                                   120                   107            363                   451
                                                              -------               -------        -------               -------
            Income (loss) before income taxes                     (77)                9,898          6,390                 9,220
Income tax provision                                            9,149                 2,926         11,813                 2,694
                                                              -------               -------        -------               -------
            Net income (loss)                               $  (9,226)            $   6,972      $  (5,423)            $   6,526
                                                            =========             =========      =========             =========
Basic earnings (loss) per share:
            Net income (loss)                               $   (0.26)            $    0.20      $   (0.15)            $    0.18
                                                            =========             =========      =========             =========
            Basic shares outstanding                           35,379                35,178         35,360                35,135
                                                            =========             =========      =========             =========
Diluted earnings (loss) per share:
            Net income (loss)                               $   (0.26)            $    0.19      $   (0.15)            $    0.18
                                                            =========             =========      =========             =========
            Diluted shares outstanding                         35,379                35,351         35,360                35,175
                                                            =========             =========      =========             =========
Dividends per share                                         $    0.06             $    0.06      $    0.18             $    0.18
                                                            =========             =========      =========             =========




                                                  CHRISTOPHER & BANKS CORPORATION
                                           UNAUDITED COMPARATIVE STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS
                                                     FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED
                                              NOVEMBER 27, 2010 AND NOVEMBER 28, 2009
                                                          (in thousands)
                                                                                                        Nine Months Ended
                                                                                             --------------------------------------
                                                                                                November 27,        November 28,
                                                                                                    2010                2009
                                                                                             ------------------  ------------------
Cash flows from operating activities:
                 Net income (loss)                                                              $  (5,423)         $   6,526
                 Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash
                   provided by operating activities:
                                               Depreciation and amortization                       19,312             19,066
                                               Deferred income taxes                               11,180             (3,718)
                                               Stock-based compensation expense                     1,513              1,382
                                               Other                                                  (93)               (20)
                 Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
                                               Sales of trading securities                         14,850                350
                                               Increase in accounts receivable                     (1,878)            (1,920)
                                               Increase in merchandise inventories                 (7,477)            (2,996)
                                               (Increase) decrease in other current assets         (4,542)            18,231
                                               (Increase) decrease in other assets                    (30)                65
                                               Decrease in accounts payable                        (5,699)           (12,035)
                                               Decrease in accrued liabilities                     (1,600)            (2,719)
                                               Decrease in deferred lease incentives               (3,060)            (2,752)
                                               Decrease in other liabilities                       (1,379)            (1,185)
                                                                                                ---------          ---------
                                                 Net cash provided by operating activities         15,674             18,275
                                                                                                ---------          ---------
Cash flows from investing activities:
                   Purchases of property, equipment and improvements                               (7,260)            (4,838)
                   Purchases of investments                                                       (57,183)           (44,970)
                   Sales of investments                                                            48,208              2,620
                                                                                                ---------          ---------
                                               Net cash used in investing activities              (16,235)           (47,188)
                                                                                                ---------          ---------
Cash flows from financing activities:
                   Exercise of stock options                                                          183                  -
                   Dividends paid                                                                  (6,417)            (6,383)
                   Other                                                                              300                  -
                                                                                                ---------          ---------
                                               Net cash used in financing activities               (5,934)            (6,383)
                                                                                                ---------          ---------
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents                                                          (6,495)           (35,296)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period                                                   37,073             78,814
                                                                                                ---------          ---------
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period                                                      $  30,578          $  43,518
                                                                                                =========          =========
Contacts:  Christopher & Banks Corporation 
           Michael Lyftogt, Chief Accounting Officer,
            Interim Chief Financial Officer 
           763-551-5000

           ICR, Inc. 
           Investor Relations: 
           Jean Fontana/Melissa Mackay
           203-682-8200

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