by Brian Lipton


Bad news continued on the department store retail front as Pennsylvania-based chain Bon-Ton Stores reported disappointing earnings for the third-quarter of fiscal 2015, causing the stock to sink over 30 percent in early trading on Thursday.

The company earned $623.40 million during the quarter, compared to $642.7 million, which resulted in earnings of $1.72 per diluted share, which was below expectations. Total sales in the period decreased 3% to $623.4 million, compared with $642.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Comparable store sales decreased 2.6% in the third quarter as compared with the prior year period.

Kathryn Bufano, president and CEO, commented in a statement, “Clearly, our third quarter results were challenged as sales were pressured by unseasonably warm weather, which significantly impacted our cold-weather classifications, and by continued weakness in overall traffic trends. However, customers strongly responded to our expanded brand offerings and we also saw sustained momentum in certain core categories.”

The company’s stock plunged drastically in morning trading, and was selling at $1.32 at 10:30am. A year ago, the stock was selling for close to $9 per share.