Williams-Sonoma (WSM) Higher On a 'Beat and Raise' Q1

May 20, 2010 9:14 AM EDT
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Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) announced a much higher-than-expected profit for the first quarter on Thursday, due to the strength of improved spring sales, which lead the company to improve its outlook for the fiscal year.

The home goods chain reported first-quarter earnings of $19.5 million or 18 cents per share, reversing a loss of $18.7 million or 18 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 23 cents cents per share in the three month period ended May 2, 11 cents better than the market consensus of 12 cents.

Revenue for Williams-Sonoma rose 17.3 percent to $717.6 million in the quarter from $612 million last year, beating the analyst estimate of $675.57 million. Same store sales for the company rose 17 percent from last year in the period.

"This year-over-year improvement was driven by the cumulative success we have seen from our strategic and tactical initiatives over the past eighteen months,” Howard Lester, Chairman and Chief Executive Office said. “Our ongoing focus on our customers, their needs, and the aspects of the business we could control – combined with an improving economic backdrop – drove these better than expected results."

Looking forward, Williams-Sonoma sees earning in the second quarter of 16 cents to 20 cents per share, with revenue growth of 9 percent to 12 percent, the while the Street is looking for 13 cents per share in the period.

For the fiscal full year, the company sees earnings of $1.39 to $1.48 per share, ahead of the market forecast of $1.33 per share.

"Based on these results and the continuing momentum we are seeing in our business today, we are incorporating the upside we saw in our first quarter results into our full-year guidance," Lester added.

UPDATE: Click here to see some highlights from Williams-Sonoma's Q1 conference call.

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