Burlington Coat Factory

Selling in the off-price sector helped Burlington Stores Inc.’s adjusted second-quarter EPS beat Wall Street’s estimates by 21 cents.

For the three months ended July 29, the company said profits more than doubled to $46.9 million, or 66 cents a diluted share, from $20.4 million, or 28 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, EPS was 72 cents. Net sales rose 8.6 percent to $1.37 billion from $1.26 billion, which also included a net sales gain of 8.6 percent to $1.36 billion from $1.26 billion. The company said comparable-store sales rose 3.5 percent on top of the 5.4 percent gain a year ago.

Wall Street was expecting EPS of 51 cents on revenues of $1.35 billion.

Tom Kingsbury, chief executive officer, said, “Our overall 8.6 percent sales growth, along with our 140 basis point adjusted operating margin improvement, enabled the company to drive an 85 percent increase in adjusted EPS in the second quarter, well ahead of our guidance. Our inventories are fresh, we are well positioned for back-to-school, and we have significant open-to-buy entering the third quarter as opportunities remain plentiful.”

The company said gross margin expanded by 110 basis points over last year’s level to 40.7 percent, driven primarily by increased merchandise margin. Also, product-sourcing costs as a percent of sales improved 10 basis points versus the prior year’s quarter.

For fiscal year 2017, the company said it expects total sales to rise 8.4 to 8.9 percent, which presumes a comps gain in the range of 2 to 3 percent for the second half. Adjusted EPS is expected in the range of $4.11 to $4.18.

Shares of Burlington rose 1.4 percent to close at $86.11 on Thursday.

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