Party City says it plans to close about 45 of its locations this year, roughly 5 percent of its national footprint, amid a worldwide helium shortage that it blames in part for a $30.2 million first-quarter loss.
The Elmsford, New York-based discount party and costume chain didn't immediately identify the stores slated for closure in its announcement Thursday, but said the shutterings would happen at various times over the course of the year.
CEO James Harrison said Party City typically closes 10 to 15 stores annually as part of its store optimization process and in response to market demand.
"This year, after careful consideration and evaluation of our store fleet, we’ve made the decision to close more stores than usual in order to help optimize our market level performance, focus on the most profitable locations and improve the overall health of our store portfolio," Harrison said.
On a per-share basis, Party City said the $30.2 million first-quarter loss amounted to a loss of 32 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 1 cent per share.
The results matched Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of 1 cent per share.
The party supplies retailer and wholesaler posted revenue of $513.1 million in the period, which did not meet Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $519.9 million.
Party City expects full-year earnings in the range of $1.61 to $1.72 per share, with revenue in the range of $2.49 billion to $2.54 billion.
Party City shares have dropped 27 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has fallen 51 percent in the last 12 months.