Michaels Companies Inc.'s stock surged 6% in premarket trade Thursday, after the arts and crafts retailer beat fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales expectations provided an upbeat 2016 outlook. For the quarter ended Jan. 30, earnings rose to $183.7 million, or 87 cents a share, from $146.4 million, or 75 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 84 cents. Sales increased 4.6% to $1.68 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $1.65 billion. Same-store sales grew 3.1%, well above expectations of 1% growth. For fiscal 2016, sales are expected to grow 8% to 9%, while the FactSet consensus of $5.11 billion implies 4% growth. The company launched a new $200 million stock buyback program, with no expiration date. The stock has run up 10% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 0.8%.
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