Lumber Liquidators 4Q net income up 63 percent

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Associated Press

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 1:01 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lumber Liquidators said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income surged 63 percent as the hardwood flooring retailer's sales rose and lower costs increased its profit margins.

The results beat Wall Street estimates and its shares rose almost 3 percent in midday trading after briefly touching an all-time high earlier.

The company is based in Toano, Va., and has more than 290 stores in North America.

It has seen increases in traffic and average ticket as it continues to broaden its advertising reach, expand its selection and drive effective store execution, CEO Robert M. Lynch said in a conference call with investors.

Lumber Liquidators saw its gross margin— the percentage of each dollar of sales that a retailer keeps — increase to 39.1 percent from 35.5 percent last year on lower supply and transportation costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses fell to 27.4 percent of net sales.

The Toano, Va., company reported earnings of $13.8 million, or 50 cents per share, for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, up from $8.5 million, or 30 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose nearly 21 percent to $210.7 million.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 44 cents per share on $198.4 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc.'s shares increased $1.79, or 2.9 percent, to $64.22 in midday trading Wednesday after rising as high as $65.48 earlier in the session. FactSet says that is its highest level ever.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose more than 13 percent. That comparison is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes recently opened or closed stores.

Lumber Liquidators opened four stores during the quarter, and plans to open a total of 25 to 35 new stores during this year.

The company t expects its full-year 2013 earnings in a range of between $1.90 and $2.15 per share. It anticipates net sales for the full year in the range of $885 million to $920 million on higher same-store sales.

Analysts expect earnings of $2.08 per share on $892.1 million in revenue.

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Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.

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