Burlington Stores (BURL) reported a decline in fourth-quarter earnings, mainly owing to higher taxes, despite an increase in revenues. Earnings came in above analysts’ estimates, while revenues missed the view. The unimpressive results and the weak guidance sparked a selloff and the company’s stock fell about 6% in early trading Thursday.
The New Jersey-based discount apparel retailer reported adjusted earnings of $2.83 per share for the most recent quarter, excluding the impact of revaluation of deferred tax liabilities. It is lower than what the company had earned in the previous year but above the Wall Street estimate.
Reported profit dropped to $184.4 million or $2.70 per share from $240.7 million or $3.47 per share last year. In the latest quarter, the bottom-line was dragged by higher taxes, while the year-ago period benefitted from a significant tax benefit.
In the latest quarter, the bottom-line was dragged by higher taxes, while the year-ago period benefitted from a significant tax benefit
Revenues advanced 2.8% annually to $2 billion, but missed the market estimates and the company’s own guidance. During the quarter, strong store traffic more than offset the additional benefit realized in the prior-year quarter due to an extra week. Comparable store sales rose 1.3%, representing a marked slowdown from last year.
“While we are disappointed with how the year ended from a sales perspective, we did have a solid Fiscal 2018 on both the top and bottom line. We remain confident in our business model and long term prospects for growth, and still expect Fiscal 2019 Adjusted EPS to increase low double digits on a comparable basis versus Fiscal 2018,” said CEO Tom Kingsbury.
The management is currently looking for earnings of $1.21-$1.31 per share for the first quarter of 2019, which falls below the consensus forecast. Total sales are estimated to grow between 7% and 9%, while comparable store sales are forecast to be flat to up 2%.
The mid-point of the company’s full-year earnings forecast of $6.93-7.06 per share is below the market’s projection. The estimated sales growth for fiscal 2019 is in the range of 9% to 10%, and same-store sales between 1.5% and 2.8%. Adjusted profit is expected to grow between 10% and 12% year-on-year.
Shares of Burlington Stores fell more than 6% following the earnings report Thursday, continuing the recent downtrend. Last month, the stock surged to an all-time high and crossed the $175-mark, before paring the gains in the following weeks.
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