William-Sonoma 2Q Beats Street as E-Commerce Thrives

By Features FOXBusiness

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) said on Tuesday that its second-quarter profit climbed 28% and narrowly trumped Wall Streets outlook as its newly launched global online shipping web sites helped catapult e-commerce sales.

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The San Francisco-based operator of home products retail chains under the brands Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm, posted net earnings of $39.31 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with $30.8 million, or 28 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

The results were just ahead of average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll of 36 cents. Revenue for the three-month period was $815 million, up 5.1% from $776 million a year ago, missing the Streets view of $824 million.

The company partly attributed the results to 6% growth in sales at stores open more than a year, led by a 29% increase in comparable sales in the West Elm brand. Williams-Sonoma also launched its international shipping websites last quarter and saw sales from e-commerce climb 18%.

During the quarter, we continued to drive increased traffic and conversion in e-commerce, expand the reach of West Elm and extend our international presence, Williams-Sonoma chief executive Laura Alber said in a statement.

While all of these initiatives continue to be in their early stages of development, we believe each of them represents a long-term growth opportunity that we will continue to invest in throughout the year, she said.

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Looking forward, the company said it is encouraged by the early consumer response to its core and seasonable merchandise despite uncertainty in the economy. 

Williams-Sonoma stood by its third-quarter earnings outlook in the range of 36 cents to 39 cents a share. Wall Street is expecting 36 cents.

For the full-year, the retailer sees non-GAAP earnings in the range of $2.17 to $2.22 a share, dipping just below analysts views of $2.22.

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