RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lumber Liquidators said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income rose nearly 51 percent as the hardwood flooring retailer's sales rose.
Its results beat Wall Street expectations and shares rose more than 6 percent in midmorning trading.
Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc., which has more than 320 stores in North America, said some lower costs helped boost its gross margin, the percentage of each dollar of sales that a company keeps as profit.
The company also announced a new $50 million share buyback and said it plans to open a total of 30 to 40 new stores in 2014.
CEO Robert Lynch said in a conference call with investors that the company has been "relentless in driving continuous improvement" through strategies including, expanded advertising, better product sourcing and supply chain structure, as well as setting a new standard for its showroom design.
The Toano, Va.-based company earned $20.8 million, or 74 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That's up from $13.8 million, or 50 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue increased nearly 23 percent to $258.4 million as its traffic and average sale increased.
Sales in established stores rose nearly 16 percent. That comparison is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes recently opened or closed stores and measures growth at ongoing locations.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 72 cents per share on $256.3 million in revenue.
Its shares rose $6.40, or 6.7 percent, to $102 in midmorning trading Wednesday. Its shares had fallen more than 7 percent so far this year through Tuesday's close.
For the full year, the company said its profit rose 64 percent to $77.4 million on revenue of $1 billion.
Lumber Liquidators expects full-year 2014 earnings to be in the range of $3.25 and $3.60 per share on revenue of between $1.15 billion and $1.2 billion. Analysts expect $3.53 per share on revenue of $1.18 billion.
Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum .