Walgreens (WAG) Reports In-Line Q4 EPS; Comps Rose 5.4% Sep 30, 2014 07:32AM

Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) reported Q4 EPS of $0.74, in-line with the analyst estimate of $0.74. Revenue for the quarter came in at $19.1 billion versus the consensus estimate of $19.03 billion.

Total sales in comparable stores increase 5.4 percent.

Front-end comparable store sales (those open at least a year) increased 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared with last year’s fourth quarter. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.2 percent and basket size increased 3.5 percent, while total sales in comparable stores increased 5.4 percent. Walgreens Balance® Rewards loyalty program reached 82 million active members at the end of this year’s fourth quarter.

“Our fourth quarter performance was in line with our expectation, recognizing we have much more to do. We closed the fiscal year by exercising the option for the second step of our strategic transaction with Alliance Boots, completing the transition of our pharmaceutical distribution to AmerisourceBergen and driving continued improvement in our daily living business that resulted in our largest year-over-year quarterly and fiscal-year sales increases in three years,” said Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson. “While continuing to work through pharmacy margin pressure, we were able to achieve improved top-line pharmacy growth as our retail pharmacy market share for the fiscal year increased 30 basis points to 19.0 percent. Finally, we maintained solid expense control in the fourth quarter and are moving forward with the implementation of our previously announced cost-reduction initiative to achieve $1 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2017.”

For earnings history and earnings-related data on Walgreens (WAG) click here.

Safeway (SWY) Q3 Comps Rose 3.5% Sep 30, 2014 06:11AM

As previously announced, on March 6, 2014, Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY), AB Acquisition LLC (“AB Acquisition”), Albertson’s Holdings LLC (“Albertsons Holdings”), a subsidiary of AB Acquisition, Albertson’s LLC (“Albertson’s LLC”), a subsidiary of Albertsons Holdings, and Saturn Acquisition Merger Sub, Inc. (“Merger Sub” and together with AB Acquisition, Albertsons Holdings and Albertson’s LLC, “Albertsons”), a subsidiary of Albertsons Holdings, entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, which was subsequently amended on April 7, 2014 pursuant to Amendment No. 1 and on June 13, 2014 pursuant to Amendment No. 2 (as amended, the “Merger Agreement”), pursuant to which the parties agreed that, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Merger Agreement, AB Acquisition will acquire Safeway (the “Merger”).

In an offering memorandum related to Merger financing, Albertsons plans to disclose that Safeway's identical-store sales (excluding fuel and excluding the Eastern division) for the third quarter of 2014 grew 3.5%, due primarily to price inflation.

In light of the pending Merger, Safeway no longer holds quarterly earnings conference calls or issues earnings releases. The third quarter quarterly report on Form 10-Q will be available at http://investor.safeway.com or the SEC website no later than Thursday, October 16, 2014.

Finish Line (FINL) Misses Q2 EPS by 6c, Reaffirms Guidance Sep 26, 2014 07:09AM

Finish Line (NASDAQ: FINL) reported Q2 EPS of $0.54, $0.06 worse than the analyst estimate of $0.60. Revenue for the quarter came in at $466.9 million versus the consensus estimate of $477.61 million. Comps increased 1.5%.

“Our second quarter results fell short of our expectations due to softness within elements of our basketball offering while our running business was up mid single digits driven by casual and performance styles,” said Glenn Lyon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are confident that we can reaccelerate sales trends in basketball by working closely with our brand partners to improve our assortments. In combination with our market leadership position in running, advanced omnichannel capabilities and growing business relationship with Macy’s, this will fuel sustainable sales and earnings growth over the long-term.”


For the fiscal year ending February 28, 2015, the company still expects Finish Line comparable store sales to be up mid single digits and earnings per share to increase in the high single to low double digit range over fiscal year 2014 non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $1.66.

*** Consensus estimates call for FY15 EPS of $1.87.

For earnings history and earnings-related data on Finish Line (FINL) click here.

UPDATE: Skechers USA (SKX) Comments on BRG Report; Says 'Continuing to Take Market Share' Sep 25, 2014 09:02AM

(Updated - September 25, 2014 9:02 AM EDT)

Skechers USA (NYSE: SKX) released a short statement on the state of its business in response to The Buckingham Research Group (BRG) Industry Update report released on September 24, 2014, respecting the imminent close of the third quarter and the Company’s upcoming earnings announcement.

“We respect the SportScan data released every Wednesday on the footwear business, but when not looked at in its entirety or analyzed over periods of time, and understanding that some key accounts—including Amazon, Zappos, Kohl’s and Finish Line/Macy’s, are not currently reporting and are projected based on the balance of the sector, the data can be misinterpreted or skewed,” began David Weinberg, SKECHERS COO and CFO.

Mr. Weinberg continued: “As BRG reported, for the week ending September 20, 2014, SKECHERS sales were down 3 percent, but improved 19 percent for the trailing four weeks and 33 percent for the trailing 13 weeks. What BRG didn’t report is that the week ending September 30 is one of the three smallest weeks of the year, according to SportScan, who also indicated to us that their analysis of the data shows that we are continuing to take market share and that footwear retailers remain confident in our product.”

“With a deeper dive and channel checks conducted which is always recommended, the results would be more conclusive. As indicated by SportScan and our retail partners, we are continuing to take market share. We have seen only one material decrease in our kids business in one account in the South due to a significant planned decrease in the number of doors, though our business in the existing doors remains strong,” Weinberg added. “This is already the biggest booking third quarter in the history of the Company with an over 50 percent increase from third quarter of last year, and the SKECHERS retail stores continue to show positive comp store increases on top of significant retail store comp increases last year. Given channel checks, SKECHERS retail performance, our incoming order rate which leads us to an increased backlog worldwide, we remain confident that our domestic and international business is strong, that our brand continues to be in demand, and that our product and marketing resonate with consumers around the world.”

Additional reports issued on September 24, 2014 about SKECHERS market position included the following statements:

Sterne Agee: Business is healthy as evidenced by high teens ASP increase: The deceleration in the last week was largely relegated to the mid-tier department store channel, where SKX sales declined 20.5% in the last week versus +10.4% for the last 4 weeks. We do not believe there is a brand/product issue here, as shown by the 19% ASP increase within the channel. If there was a product/brand issue, department stores would be promoting the product in a very aggressive fashion. We believe that retailers likely ran out of inventory after the strong start of back to school.We remind investors that in recent quarters, SKX management has put a great emphasis on lean inventory levels and "starving the customer." The deceleration in the mid-tier department store channel was even greater for the EPS overall footwear category, where sales declined 23% in the last week versus +2% for the last 4 weeks.

Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP: Skechers Demand is Outstripping Supply. With the devil in the details, we noticed overall units were down -20.2% while ASPs were up +21.1% this week. We believe this signals that retailers are short inventory following a strong back-to-school season (BTS). Recall BTS (7/20-9/13) saw stronger than expected growth (+36.5%) and given the likely lack of product thereafter, this likely accentuated the historically normal fall-off in sales post-BTS that the brand usually experiences. Importantly, this is supported by our conversations with key retailers, SportScan and SKX. As a reminder, we note that SportScan only tracks ~25% of SKX global sales, in which we believe the other 75% is trending very well, particularly international. Overall, we believe the story is very much on track.

Citi Research: By category, SportScan data indicates that Skechers continued to post positive growth in the walking, work/utility, training/fitness, boots, and sandal categories, while casual athletic posted a -5% decline and dress/comfort casual was also weaker. By channel, SKX continued to post positive growth in all major channels ex-Mid-Tier Department Stores, with Family Footwear up +6%, Discount/Mass +66%, and Athletic Specialty/Sporting Goods up +15% y/y.

While Wunderlich did not issue a report, the firm’s analyst Danielle McCoy was quoted in Investor’s Business Daily on September 24, 2014 as follows: “'We don't think this is worrisome. I believe Skechers is still a very solid brand — one of the key winners this back-to-school season.' McCoy said that comparing the most recent week to the trailing four weeks ‘is not comparable,’ since August is the largest back-to-school selling month.”

Carmax (KMX) Posts Q2 EPS of 70c Sep 23, 2014 07:37AM

Carmax Inc (NYSE: KMX) reported Q2 EPS of $0.70, which may not compare with the analyst estimate of $0.67. Revenue for the quarter came in at $3.6 billion versus the consensus estimate of $3.57 billion.

Net earnings per diluted share for the current quarter included a $0.06 benefit in connection with the company's receipt of settlement proceeds in a previously disclosed class action lawsuit.

Comparable store used unit sales increased 0.2% versus the prior year’s second quarter.

  • Used sales rose 10.6 percent to $2.92 billion
  • New sales increased 16.6 percent to $69.9 million
  • Wholesale sales improved 11.7 percent to $530.3 million

"We are pleased to report record second quarter results, even before considering the benefit of the settlement proceeds,” said Tom Folliard, president and chief executive officer. “The continued growth in our store base and improvements across our used, wholesale and CAF operations, as well as our share repurchase program, all contributed to our record second quarter earnings per share.”

For earnings history and earnings-related data on Carmax Inc (KMX) click here.

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