RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lumber Liquidators said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income nearly doubled as the hardwood flooring retailer's sales rose during the start of the important spring home improvement season. Lower costs increased its profit margins.
Its shares rose nearly 13 percent in midday trading as the results beat Wall Street estimates and the company raised its full-year outlook.
The Toano, Va., company reported earnings of $15.8 million, or 57 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, up from $8.2 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue rose more than 22 percent to $230.4 million as the number of customers at its more than 290 stores in North America grew and its average sale increased.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 41 cents per share on $215.2 million in revenue. Its shares increased $8.97, or 12.7 percent, to $79.46 in midday trading Wednesday after reaching an all-time high of $80.70 earlier in the day.
Revenue at stores open at least a year increased more than 15 percent. That comparison is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes recently opened or closed stores.
CEO Robert M. Lynch said in a conference call with investors that the company's value proposition is reaching more consumers as the company has increased how often it runs ads and how widely they are seen.
Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. saw its gross margin— the percentage of each dollar of sales that a retailer keeps — increase to 40.4 percent from 37.3 percent last year. Selling, general and administrative expenses fell to 29.3 percent of net sales.
The company said it now expects its full-year 2013 earnings in a range of between $2.10 and $2.35 per share, up from the previous range of $1.90 and $2.15 per share. It anticipates net sales for the full year in the range of $913 million to $942 million on higher same-store sales.
It opened five new stores during the quarter and plans to open a total of 25 to 35 new stores during this year.
Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.
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