Specialty clothing retailer Five Below, Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE) reported strong comparable store sales and earnings growth for the first quarter. The results also topped the Street view, driving the stock higher in the after-hours session. The company provided financial guidance for the second quarter and fiscal 2019.
At $364.8 million, net sales were up 23% in the first quarter and slightly above the market’s projection. The growth reflects a 3.1% increase in comparable store sales.
Supported by the solid top-line performance, net profit advanced to $25.7 million or $0.46 per share in the first quarter from $21.8 million or $0.39 per share a year earlier. Earnings also came in above Wall Street’s expectations.
Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below, stated, “Of the 39 new stores we opened, 12 were in the top 25 Spring grand openings of all time, which is impressive given how strong the last few years of store classes have been. We also continued to see broad-based strength across our merchandise worlds.”
Supported by the solid top-line performance, net profit advanced to $0.46 per share in the first quarter
Looking ahead, the management expects sales in the range of $417 million to $422 million for the second quarter and plans to open 40 new stores during the period. Comparable store sales are estimated to grow in the 2%-3% range, while profit is expected to come in between $0.48 per share and $0.51 per share.
For fiscal 2019, the company predicts sales in the range of $1.865 billion to $1.885 billion and earnings in the range of $3.11 per share to $3.18 per share. The sales outlook factors in the planned opening of around 145-150 new stores and a 3% increase in comparable sales.
Five Below’s distinctive business model, wherein all the products are sold at $5 or below, has helped it gain an advantage over rivals who struggle to stay afloat due to the stiff competition in the sector. The competitive pricing and promotional offers most often translate into revenue growth.
For the fourth quarter, the company reported a double-digit increase in revenues and earnings to $603 million and $1.59 per share, respectively. The upbeat performance is mainly attributable to a 4.4% comparable store sales growth.
Five Below shares jumped to an all-time high in April. The stock, which gained about 20% since the beginning of the year, closed Wednesday’s trading session lower.
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