Williams-Sonoma tops estimates

Williams-Sonoma Inc. on Wednesday reported better-than-expected quarterly results, fueled by a strong performance at its millennial-targeted West Elm division. 
The home furnishings retailer's first-quarter earnings were $39.6 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with $39.6 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 51 cents a share. Analysts had forecast earnings of 49 cents a share. 
Net revenues increased 1.2% to $1.112 billion, from $1.098 billion in the year-ago period. E-commerce net revenues increased 0.7% to $581 million. Online sales generated 52.2% of total company net revenues in the quarter, compared to 52.5% of total net revenues last year. 
Same-store sales inched up 0.1%. By brand, same-store sales rose 3.2% at Williams-Sonoma and 6% at West Elm. Comp sales fell 1.4% at Pottery Barn, 5.7% at Pottery Barn Kids and 14.3% at PB Teen. 
"In the first quarter, we saw strong sequential improvement in the Pottery Barn brand, demonstrating the effectiveness of the brand initiatives that we are implementing," said Laura Alber, CEO, Williams-Sonoma. "West Elm, our newer businesses (Rejuvenation and Mark and Graham), and our company-owned global operations delivered another quarter of double-digit growth, and Williams Sonoma started the year off strongly. We also continued to realize positive results from our supply chain initiatives, as we drive continuous improvements across the organization to deliver increased efficiencies and a superior customer experience.”
As of Jan. 29, Williams-Sonoma operated 629 stores under several banners.
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