Shares of furniture company Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR) jumped as much as 14.3% in early trading Thursday after reporting fiscal fourth-quarter results. At 11:05 a.m. EDT shares were holding at a 9.2% gain for the day.
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On the surface, results weren't as strong as the stock's move might indicate. Revenue was down 0.9% to $577.2 million and new orders dropped 6.3% from a year ago to $568.1 million. Management said a price increase that went into effect during the quarter pushed sales into the fiscal third quarter.
On the bottom line, net income fell 17.9% to $33.4 million and earnings per share dropped the same amount to $0.55. Adjusted for one-time items, management said earnings jumped 14.3% to $0.64, which beat the estimate of $0.55 from Wall Street.
Expectations for Herman Miller had come down early in 2017, partly because of uncertainty surrounding price increases. But a quarter that topped expectations helped and guidance of organic growth of 5% in the first fiscal quarter of 2018 gave investors reason to push the stock higher. With shares trading at just 15.5 times trailing earnings, this is a stock that has a lot of upside potential if the company can return to steady growth in 2018.
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