For the quarter ended May 3, the off-price retailer posted a profit of $11.77 million compared with a loss of $5.56 million last year. Excluding one-time costs, adjusted profit was $18.6 million or 25 cents a share. That beat analysts’ average estimate for 22 cents a share.
Net revenue rose 5.9% to $1.128 billion in line with analysts’ estimate.
“We are extremely pleased with our solid results in the first quarter as we continued to build upon our momentum from 2013 with both strong sales and bottom line performance,” said Tom Kingsbury, president/ceo. “We achieved a comparable store sales increase of 2.7%, on top of a 3.4% increase last year, which we believe is a direct result of the continued improvement in the execution of our off-price model. We remain focused on delivering great value, brands and fresh product to our customers every day as well as executing our growth initiatives to improve comparable store sales, expand our retail store base and enhance our operating margins.”
During the quarter, gross margin widened by 80 basis points to 38.1% from 37.3% last year, primarily due to improved execution. “This more than offset an approximate 30 basis point increase in product sourcing costs that are included in selling and administrative expenses,” Burlington noted.
Selling and administrative expenses, exclusive of advisory fees, as a percentage of net sales were 30.8% vs. 30.7% last year.
Looking ahead, for the second quarter, Burlington Stores expects adjusted net loss per share in the range of 9 to 12 cents with net sales expected to between 5% and 6% while comparable store sales are expected to rise 2% to 3%. Analysts estimate a loss per share of 9 cents on revenues of $1.02 billion.
For the full year, Burlington reiterated its forecast for adjusted net income in the range of $1.25 to $1.35 a share, on an increase of net sales between 5.8% and 6.8%. Comparable store sales are projected to increase 2% to 3%.
Analysts project profit per share of $1.37, on revenues of $4.72 billion.
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