Ahead of the Bell: La-Z-Boy shares fall

Shares of furniture maker La-Z-Boy fall on disappointing fourth-quarter

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of La-Z-Boy Inc. fell more than 10 percent in premarket trading Wednesday, a day after the furniture seller posted weaker than expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Sales at stores open a year fell 0.9 percent from a year ago. CEO Kurt Darrow said the company was hurt by bad winter weather in its fourth quarter which ended April.

He expects the current quarter, which ends in July, to also be weak because less people are looking to buy furniture in the summer months. "The first quarter is usually our weakest in terms of sales and earnings," he said.

Beyond that, Darrow said he is "optimistic" that the company's initiatives will drive growth.

La-Z-Boy said its net income fell to $12.2 million, or 23 cents per share, in the quarter ending April 26, compared with $18.3 million, or 33 cents per share. Removing a loss from discontinued operations, the company earned 27 cents per share in the fourth quarter.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $353 million from $345.8 million.

Analysts expected earnings of 32 cents per share and revenue of $368.4 million.

The Monroe, Michigan, company operates 315 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores and 570 Comfort Studios locations.

In premarket trading, shares fell $2.64, or 10.6 percent, to $22.20 shortly before the market opening. As of Tuesday's closing price of $24.84, its shares are down nearly 20 percent from the beginning of the year.

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