FINANCE

Sally Beauty Q4 earnings beat Street, sales fall

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite driving strong digital sales and earnings in the fourth quarter, Sally Beauty ended its fiscal year with lagging same-store sales.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Sally Beauty’s revenue was$965.99 million, missing Zacks analysts estimates of $968.1 million. Earnings per share hit 51 cents, which was 3 cents higher than the analyst estimates of 48 cents. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell by 5.7% to $141.9 million, as adjusted EBITDA margin dropped 70 basis points to 14.7% from the same period a year earlier.

The company’s net earnings rose 54.5% to $55.2 million. Sally Beauty’s same-store sales dropped by 0.2%, however global digital sales rose by 30.1% compared to the prior year.

For the year, earnings were $426.6 million, and sales were $3.93 billion, a decrease of 0.1%. Same-store sales declined 1.5%.

“As our quarterly results demonstrate, we are making solid progress on our transformation plan,” said Chris Brickman, president and CEO.

“We are playing to win by re-focusing our business around our differentiated core of hair color and care, improving our execution of basic retail fundamentals and advancing our digital commerce capabilities,” Brickman said. “We are continuing to drive costs out of the business, which is enabling investment in our transformation. We recognize that we still have work to do. With our key accomplishments from the quarter and the recent management changes we have implemented, we are confident that we are moving in the right direction.”

Looking ahead to 2019, the company expects full year consolidated same-store sales to be approximately flat, and full year adjusted earnings are expected to decline slightly as compared to the prior year. This will be driven primarily by an improvement in same-store sales offset by the slightly higher adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses. The outlook is also based on key investments being made to drive long-term growth, and benefits of cost-savings initiatives already underway that are expected to offset the majority of investments.

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