FINANCE

Williams-Sonoma soars in Q1, topping earnings and sales estimates

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Williams-Sonoma had a strong first quarter of fiscal 2014, with net income climbing 17% to a better-than-expected $46.16 million from $39.17 million.

Net sales grew 10% to $974.33 million from $887.8 million, also topping estimates.

Total same-store sales grew 10%. Williams-Sonoma credited much of its success during the quarter to market share gains and advantages conferred by its multichannel operations.

“Innovative, high-quality product, personalized service, relevant marketing and strong execution across all brands drove these better than expected results,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO of Williams-Sonoma. “With 50% of our revenue in the direct channel this quarter, we believe our multi-brand, multichannel platform is driving consistent market share gains and providing us with a sustainable competitive advantage.”

Williams-Sonoma expects net revenues in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 to range from $1.02 billion to $1.04 billion, with same-store sales growth of 4%-6%. For the full fiscal year, Williams-Sonoma anticipated total net revenues of $4.64 billion-$4.72 billion and same-store sales growth of 5%-7%.

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FINANCE

Dollar Tree beats Street with Q1 profit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chesapeake, Va. – Dollar Tree Inc. slightly exceeded Wall Street estimates with net income of $138.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up 4% from $133.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Net sales rose 7% to $2 billion from $1.87 billion, and same-store sales increased 2%.

"Our first quarter sales grew as the result of increases in both traffic and average ticket with our discretionary business growing slightly faster than consumables,” said CEO Bob Sasser. “Leading categories during the quarter included candy, check-out products, stationery and seasonal merchandise for Valentines and Easter.”

Dollar Tree estimates sales for second quarter 2014 to be in the range of $1.97 billion to $2.02 billion, based on low-single digit positive same-store sales. Full-year sales are now estimated to be in the range of $8.37 billion to $8.54 billion, based on a range of low-single digit positive same-store sales.

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Weather no match for Kirkland’s in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

Kirkland’s experienced solid sales momentum in its stores and online during the first quarter of fiscal 2014 despite getting a slow start as a result of adverse weather. Even with a more promotional environment late in the quarter, sales remained strong and resulted in earnings performance at the high end of the company’s guidance.

Net sales for the quarter increased 6.9% to $108.3 million from $101.2 million in the prior-year quarter. Comparable-store sales for the quarter, including e-commerce sales, increased 5% compared with a decrease of 2.3% in the prior-year quarter.

Kirkland’s opened seven stores and closed seven during the first quarter, leaving the total number of stores at 324 at quarter end.

The company reported net income of $2.1 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, for the quarter, compared with net income of $1.8 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, for the prior-year quarter.

“The year thus far is proceeding according to our plan, and we continue to expect benefits for the balance of the year from our investments in store growth, merchandise systems, e-commerce and branding initiatives,” said president and CEO Robert Alderson.

Looking ahead, the company expects to achieve approximately 10% square footage growth for the full year, with 35 to 40 new store openings and 10 to 15 store closings. New store openings will be weighted more toward the second half of the year, and store closings will be weighted more toward the first half of the year.

Kirkland’s anticipates Total sales for the year to increase approximately 8% to 10% compared with fiscal 2013. This level of sales performance would imply a comparable-store sales increase of approximately 3% to 5% for fiscal 2014. The company expects earnings per share for the full year to be in the range of $0.90 to $1.00.

The company issued guidance for the second quarter ending Aug. 2, of a net loss of $0.03 to $0.06 per diluted share. It expects net sales to be in the range of $104 million to $105 million with a comparable-store sales increase in the range of 3% to 4%. During the second quarter, the company anticipates opening approximately eight stores and closing approximately two stores.

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