Shares of Burlington Stores Inc. fell 8.4 percent in trading Tuesday after the company posted first-quarter results that missed Wall Street’s sales projections.
For the three months ended May 2, net income more than doubled to $25.7 million, or 41 cents a diluted share, from $11.8 million, or 25 cents, a year ago. Net revenues rose 4.8 percent to $1.19 billion from $1.14 billion, which included a net sales gain of 4.9 percent to $1.18 billion from $1.13 billion. Comparable-store sales rose 0.8 percent in the quarter.
Wall Street was expecting earnings per share of 41 cents on net sales of $1.22 billion.
Shares of Burlington slipped to $49.35 in Big Board trading.
Thomas A. Kingsbury, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said during the conference call to Wall Street analysts, “We started the year by delivering earnings that exceeded our guidance, despite reporting comparable store sales below our guidance….Key highlights for the first quarter included net sales increase of 4.9 percent [and] gross margin [expansion of] 160 basis points to 39.7 percent.”
He cited the timing of federal tax refunds, which accelerated sales from February into January, and receipt flow issues in three key Easter businesses. He said the company has a new divisional merchandise manager and two new buyers, and expects to turn around the women’s shoes, handbag and the dress and suit businesses. “We expect more improvement in the back half of the year,” Kingsbury said.
The ceo noted that business was strong in other areas, including women’s sportswear, juniors, bath and body, cosmetics and fragrances, men’s apparel and home.
“We continue to make progress in terms of tailoring our assortments across brands, lifestyles, sizes and climate. We continue to improve the timing of our seasonal product deliveries by region, allowing us to get the right products to the right locations at the right time. We believe our localization strategy was a big contributor to our strong full-price selling, which increased 14 percent comp during the quarter,” Kingsbury told analysts.
He noted that on May 11, Jennifer Vecchio joined the company as chief merchandising officer. Further, beginning July 5, all sales associates, whether full or part time, who have six months or more of service that are employed at less than $9 an hour will be raised to $9 an hour.
For fiscal year 2015 ending Jan. 30, the company guided a rise in net sales at between 6 percent and 7 percent, on a comps gain of between 2 percent and 3 percent. Adjusted net income is projected in the range of $2.15 to $2.25 a diluted share.
For the second quarter ending Aug. 1, the firm forecast a rise in net sales in the 7 percent to 8 percent range, on a comps gain of between 3 percent and 4 percent. Adjusted net income is expected between 10 cents and 13 cents a diluted share.