Burlington Stores, Inc. BURL reported better-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2019 results, wherein both the top and the bottom line improved year over year. Further, the company witnessed sturdy comparable store sales performance. Notably, results came ahead of management’s expectations. Cumulatively, these prompted this New Jersey-based company to raise fiscal 2019 view.
We note that shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company increased roughly 19% during the trading session on Aug 29. In the past three months the stock has surged about 31% compared with the industry’s growth of approximately 19%.
The company delivered second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.36 per share that surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.15, after reporting in-line results in the preceding quarter. Notably, earnings improved 18.3% from the prior-year quarter reported figure buoyed by higher net sales.
Net sales advanced 10.5% year over year to $1,656.4 million, and came ahead of the consensus estimate of $1,629 million, marking the second straight quarter of positive surprise. New and non-comparable stores contributed $115 million to sales. Other revenue came in at $5.7 million, down 7.4% year over year.
Meanwhile, comparable store sales rose 3.8% in the reported quarter compared with increase of 2.9% in the year-ago period and 0.1% in the preceding quarter. This was the 26th successive quarter of comparable store sales growth. Burlington Stores had projected comparable store sales growth of 1-2% for the quarter under review.
Burlington Stores, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Burlington Stores, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Burlington Stores, Inc. Quote
Gross margin remained flat at 41.4%. We note that an increase of 30 basis points in merchandise margin was offset by deleverage of 30 basis points in freight costs. Management expects freight costs to increase 20 basis points during fiscal 2019.
Adjusted SG&A expenses, as a percentage of sales, declined 30 basis points to 26.6% due to leverage on fixed expenses on the back of robust sales increase, effective cost management and profit improvement endeavors.
Adjusted operating income grew 12.8% to $118.2 million, while adjusted operating margin, as a percentage of sales, expanded 10 basis points to 7.1%.
During the reported quarter, Burlington Stores opened 10 new stores, relocated one store and shuttered two stores. The company concluded the quarter with 691 stores. In fiscal 2019, the company plans to introduce 75 new stores, and relocate or shutter about 25, thereby projecting 50 net new stores for the fiscal. The company plans to remodel 28 stores during the fiscal year.
Other Financial Aspects
Burlington Stores ended the reported quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $97.2 million, long-term debt of $1,079.8 million and shareholders’ equity of $315.1 million. Net capital expenditures incurred during first six months of fiscal 2019 were $141 million. For fiscal 2019, the company projects net capital expenditures of roughly $310 million.
During the quarter, the company bought back 300,742 shares for $51 million. At the end of the reported quarter, the company still had $124 million remaining under its share buyback program. The company’s board of directors approved an additional $400 million share repurchase program to be executed through August 2021.
Based on the quarterly performance, Burlington Stores now envisions fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings in the range of $7.14-$7.22 per share, suggesting an improvement over $6.44 reported in the prior year. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $7.01.
Management now expects total sales to increase in the band of 8.8-9.3% with comparable store sales projected to improve 2-2.5%. The company had witnessed comparable store sales growth of 3.2% in fiscal 2018.
Management anticipates adjusted operating margin to be flat to up 10 basis points year over year. Further, Burlington Stores projects interest expenses of approximately $52 million for the fiscal year.
The company had earlier guided total sales increase of 8.5-9.2% and adjusted earnings in the range of $6.93-$7.01 per share.
The company expects third-quarter total sales to increase 8.5-9.5%. Comparable store sales are anticipated to improve 2-3% compared with 4.4% increase registered in the year-ago period. The company now forecasts adjusted earnings of $1.37-$1.41 per share, which is up from the prior-year quarter reported figure of $1.21 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.34.
3 Other Hot Stocks to Consider
Hibbett Sports HIBB has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10.9% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Target TGT, which carries a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.1%.
Office Depot ODP has a Zacks Rank #2 and a long-term earnings growth rate of 11.1%.
Today's Best Stocks from Zacks
Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2018, while the S&P 500 gained +15.8%, five of our screens returned +38.0%, +61.3%, +61.6%, +68.1%, and +98.3%.
This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2018, while the S&P averaged +4.8% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +56.2% per year.
See their latest picks free >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Burlington Stores, Inc. (BURL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Target Corporation (TGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Hibbett Sports, Inc. (HIBB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Office Depot, Inc. (ODP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research