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

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: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.

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.

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.