Traders applauded the results in the morning trading session by driving the stock up 4.2 percent to $122.90.
For the quarter ended Jan. 30, sales gained 5.1 percent to $2.39 billion from $2.28 billion in the same period last year while net income rose 17.7 percent to $63.7 million, or $3.42 earnings a share, from $54.1 million, or $2.84. For the year-end period, sales jumped 14.2 percent to $6.55 billion from $5.74 billion in the prior year as net income gained 16.5 percent to $250.9 million, or $5.87, from $215.3 million, or $4.75.
Mark Light, chief executive officer, said the company “delivered strong top- and bottom-line growth with results driven by product innovation, targeted marketing and supported by delivering superior customer service by the best store teams in retail.”
“These and many other competitive strengths such as a diversified real estate portfolio, customer finance programs and custom jewelry and repair continue to position Signet long-term as a profitable growth company in the specialty retail sector,” the ceo added.
“The integration of Zales continues to go well, and we remain confident in our recently raised synergies,” Light said. “We see an expanded and accelerated level of financial contribution from the deep pipeline of initiatives our teams are working on to unleash the long term potential of a fully integrated Signet. We remain committed to maintaining profitable growth while balancing investment back into the business with shareholder return.”
The company initiated guidance for the current fiscal year, noting that same-store sales for the first quarter are expected to be between a gain of 3 to 4 percent with earnings per share ranging between $1.80 and $1.87. For the year, same-store sales are pegged for a gain of 3 to 4.5 percent with earnings per share coming in between $8.25 and $8.55.
“As we start our new fiscal year, we are pleased with our progress quarter to date as indicated by the financial guidance we have provided,” Light said. “In fiscal 2017, we will continue our disciplined execution of our focused strategies that include our omnichannel approach to customer service; product innovation and fresh line extensions, and maximizing the effectiveness of marketing through the use of customer segmentation research. All of these efforts combined with an accelerated pace of store openings give us confidence in achieving another year of significant EPS growth, as evidenced by our newly initiated annual guidance.”
Ike Boruchow, senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, told clients that he reiterated the stock as a “top pick” and “outperform” rating.