Urban Outfitters Q3 profit up 18%
Philadelphia — Urban Outfitters’ third quarter profit increased 18%, helped by strong results at its Anthropologie and Free People divisions. The company’s quarterly earnings per share and sales both in above estimates.
Urban Outfitters’ net income totaled $70.2 million, up 18% from $59.5 million.
Net sales equaled about $774 million, a 12% increase from $692.9 million. Same-store segment net sales, which include the direct-to-consumer channel, increased 7%.
Same-store retail segment net sales increased 30% at Free People and 13% at Anthropologie and decreased 1% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales rose 21%. Revenue and earnings exceeded consensus estimates.
"Fueled by strong results at our Anthropologie and Free People brands, I am pleased to announce that the company delivered record third quarter sales and operating profits," said Richard A. Hayne, CEO. "Despite this solid performance we remain cautious about the fourth quarter given the likelihood of a highly promotional environment and this year’s challenging holiday calendar.”
During the quarter the company opened nine new outlets. In the fourth quarter the company plans to open 10 new stores, including two Anthropologie stores, four Free People stores and four Urban Outfitters stores. This will bring the count of new stores opened during fiscal 2014 to 36, including 15 Urban Outfitters stores, 13 Free People stores and eight Anthropologie stores.
Report: Wal-Mart illegally punished strikers
Bentonville, Ark. — The National Labor Relations Board has reportedly determined that Wal-Mart acted illegally when it disciplined and fired employees who had been involved in strikes and other labor protest activities. According to the New York Times, the board investigated actions taken last year against about 100 Wal-Mart employees in stores across 12 states including California, Colorado, Texas and Massachusetts.
The board also reportedly determined it found evidence that a Wal-Mart spokesperson who said there would be consequences for employees who did not show up to work as scheduled on Black Friday last year had illegally intimidated workers.
The board authorized the filing of a complaint by Wal-Mart workers but first is giving time for the two sides to reach a settlement. A Wal-Mart spokesperson told the Times that the company did not break any laws in how it treated employees last year and does not engage in employee intimidation or retaliation.
Net loss widens in third quarter for Sears Canada
Sears Canada said a one-time charge of $41 million related to restructuring and asset impairment affected its third quarter results, which resulted in a net loss of about $46.7 million USD — more than double the net loss of $21 million it posted in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.
In addition, revenues of $940.7 million were down about 6% from $1 billion. In one bright spot, same-store sales climbed 1.2%. Sears Canada is in the middle of a three-year turnaround program launched in 2012.
"This is the first quarterly same store sales increase for the Company since 2008," said Doug Campbell, president and CEO, Sears Canada Inc. "October was our strongest month of the quarter, during which we adjusted our plans to market conditions and experienced double-digit same store sales increases in both our apparel & accessories and home & hardlines categories. Our direct business also grew substantially during the quarter. When we exclude the $42.8 million of non-recurring items taken in the quarter, we reduced expenses by 8.6% compared to last year. This demonstrates the progress we are making in executing on the value levers that most directly drive our business: merchandising value and efficiency value.”
Sears Canada also announced a special dividend of about $4.79 per share, or $488 million, payable to investors of record as of Dec. 2 on Dec. 6, as well as the appointment of H Ronald Weissman as a member of its board of directors and that E.J. Bird is stepping down as a director of the Sears Canada board and will focus on his current role as the company’s executive VP and CFO, a position he has held since March 2013.