An unexpected passport…

images1.jpegA few weeks ago, my passport arrived in the mail. Not the one that gets me into other countries, but the one from Chico’s (CHS), which offers me a 5% discount for the rest of my life. At the time I thought it was odd, since I was never a big Chico’s shopper, and especially so these past few years when their product mix seems to have changed for the worse (read: lots of synthetics). But it all began to make sense when Chico’s reported disappointing sales for both October and the third quarter.

And then yesterday, Chico’s reported its earnings for the third quarter, which at 13 cents, magically came in at the top of the range they had anticipated when they reported sales in November and followed it up with the 10-Q. The Q included lots of references to the “difficult macro economic climate” and also noted the “increasingly more difficult housing market in 2007”. There was also a conference call this morning, which I haven’t listened to, but which is sending the stock lower.

So there you have it: Chico’s sent me a passport because of the crisis with sub-prime mortgages.