FINANCE

Lumber Liquidators has solid Q4; will open 30-40 stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toano, Va. – Lumber Liquidators reported impressive results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013. For the quarter, net income increased 50.6% to $20.8 million, from $13.8 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

Net sales increased $47.8 million to $258.4 million in fourth quarter 2013, from $210.7 million in fourth quarter 2012. Same-store sales increased 15.6% for the quarter, driven by an 8.6% increase in the number of customers invoiced and a 7% increase in the average sale.

For the full year, net income increased 64.4% to $77.4 million, compared to $47.1 million in the prior year. Net sales increased 23.0% to $1 billion in 2013 from $813.3 million in 2012, as same-store sales increased 15.8%.

Looking ahead, Lumber Liquidators affirmed previously issued guidance that it expects to open a total of 30 to 40 new store locations and remodel of a total of 25 to 35 existing stores, all in the “store of the future” format. Net sales are expected to be in the range of $1.15 to $1.2 billion and same-store sales are projected to increase in the high single to low-double digits.

"We achieved record highs for net sales and operating margin in the fourth quarter as we continued to gain share in a highly fragmented market,” said president and CEO Robert M. Lynch. “We gained further traction in our key, multi-year strategic initiatives while continuing to deliver value and legendary service to each customer. Customer demand was inconsistent during the quarter, with certain regions of the country periodically impacted by difficult weather conditions. Nevertheless, our store team, with support across the organization, delivered an unprecedented level of individualized customer service and focus on operating results.”

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FINANCE

NRF: More consumers will save tax refunds

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – More Americans this year are expected to put their tax returns in the bank. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s Tax Returns Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 46% of those expecting a refund this year will put their money into savings, up from 44% last year and the highest percent in the survey’s history.

Two-thirds (66.6%) of those surveyed are expecting a refund this year. As for other ways consumers will use their refunds, 37.7% will pay down debt, and one-quarter (25.3%) will use it toward everyday expenses. One-in-10 (10.7%) will treat themselves and invest in a major purchase, and 12.8% will spend their refunds on a vacation.

Young adults between 18 and 24 are most likely to save their tax returns, with nearly six-in-10 (57.7%) planning to contribute to their savings accounts, higher than any other age group. They are also the most likely to use their refunds for everyday expenses (34%) and to purchase a big-ticket item such as a new television or piece of furniture (18.3%). Three-in-10 (30.2%) will use their checks to pay down debt, second to last behind those 65 and older (27%).

“Financial security is top-of-mind for all Americans, and refunds can play a huge role in helping achieve that,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Whether consumers use a refund to pay down debt, bulk up their savings, or buy that big-ticket item they’ve been saving for, a check from Uncle Sam, large or small, goes a long way these days.”

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FINANCE

Jos. A. Bank issues tender offer for $300 million in stock

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. has commenced a tender offer to purchase up to $300 million in value of shares of its common stock at a price of $65 per share. The closing price of the company’s common stock on Feb. 18, 2014 was $54.20 per share.

The tender offer will expire on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, unless extended by the company. Tenders of shares must be made on or prior to the expiration of the tender offer and may be withdrawn at any time on or prior to the expiration of the tender offer. The tender offer is subject to a number of terms and conditions described in the offer to purchase that is being distributed to stockholders, including the consummation of the previously announced acquisition of Everest Holdings LLC ("Everest"), the parent company of Eddie Bauer.

Jos. A. Bank expects to fund the tender offer with cash on hand. None of the company’s directors or executive officers or Everest Topco LLC, the owner of Everest and a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, will participate in the tender offer.

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