Vera Bradley Profit Tops Estimates, But Revenue Falls Short

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Accessories maker Vera Bradley Inc. said Wednesday it had net income of $2.4 million, or 6 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, after a loss of $4.1 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The loss was due to charges related to the closure of an Indiana manufacturing facility, restructuring and severance and a tax adjustment. Revenue rose to $105.2 million from $101.1 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 5 cents and sales of $107 million. "Our year-over-year improvement in diluted EPS was primarily related to our 220 basis point gross profit expansion, largely driven by sourcing and operational efficiencies and an increased sales penetration of higher-margin made-for-outlet (MFO) products," Chief Executive Robert Wallstrom said in a statement. The company is aiming to complete a brand transformation in 2017, and to begin exploring international expansion, he said. It is now expecting second-quarter EPS of 13 cents to 15 cents on revenue of $118 million to $123 million. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of 18 cents and revenue of $123 million. Shares were slightly lower in premarket trade, and are down 2.8% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.6%.

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