WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Pet supplies retailer PetSmart Inc (PETM) said Wednesday after the markets closed that its fourth quarter profit rose 31% from last year, helped by higher sales and improved margins.
The company's quarterly earnings per share also came in above analysts' expectations. However, the company gave a downbeat forecast for the current fiscal year.
PetSmart shares are currently losing 8.79% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $66.55, up 61 cents. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $54.20 to $72.75.
PetSmart operates more than 1,278 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 196 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel dog and cat boarding facilities and is an online provider of pet supplies and pet care information.
For the fourth quarter ended February 3, 2013, the company reported net income of $134.0 million or $1.24 per share, compared to $102.0 million or $0.91 per share for the year-ago quarter.
On average, 24 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.21 per share for the fourth quarter.
Gross margin for the quarter improved to 31.6% from 30.4% a year ago, while operating margin increased to 11.8% from 10.4% last year.
Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 15% to $1.88 billion from $1.64 billion in the same quarter last year. Twenty-two analyst had a consensus revenue estimate of $1.89 billion for the fourth quarter.
Same-store store sales for the fourth quarter grew 4.6%, benefiting from comparable transactions growth of 1.2%.
The fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 was a 14-week quarter, while the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011 was a 13-week quarter. The company noted that the impact of the extra week was $126 million in sales and $0.17 in earnings per share.
Looking forward, the company forecast first quarter earnings of $0.92 to $0.98 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $0.94 per share for the first quarter.
For fiscal year 2013, the company forecast total sales growth of 2% to 4% and earnings of $3.76 to $3.92 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $3.93 per share on revenue growth of 4.70% for the full year fiscal 2013.
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