Francesca's Holdings Corporation (FRAN) reported earnings of 33 cents per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 30 cents by 10.0%. Earnings of this specialty retailer grew 73.7% year over year on the back of double-digit top-line growth.
Francesca's reported net sales of $86.7 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 84 million by 3.2%. Net sales surged 40.6% year over year, driven by solid improvement in comparable boutique sales and opening of 77 new stores. Comparable boutique sales rose 9.2% in the quarter on the back of increased traffic and strong business in clothing and jewelry sections.
Gross margin increased 92 basis points to 53.4% on the back of strong sales leverage in the quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 20.8% to $21.6 million in the quarter. However, as a percentage of revenues, selling, general and administrative expenses contracted 408 basis points to 24.9% in the quarter.
Francesca's reported adjusted earnings of $1.06 per share for fiscal 2012, up 82.8% year over year on the back of solid top-line growth.
Francesca's reported net sales of $296.4 million, up 45.2%, driven by solid improvement in comparable boutique sales and opening of new stores. Comparable boutique sales rose 14.9% in the quarter on the back of increased traffic.
Francesca's expects net sales to grow in the range of $79.5 million to $80.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 on the back of expected comparable sales growth of 4% to 5%. Earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 25 cents to 26 cents, up 25.0% to 30.0% from the prior- year quarter.
For fiscal 2013, the company expects net sales to grow in the range of $365.0 million to $370.0 million on the back of expected comparable sales growth of 4% to 5%. Earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $1.27 to $1.30, up 23.3% to 26.2% from the prior-year quarter.
On the other hand, another company in the same sector, Nike Inc. (NKE) recently reported earnings of third quarter of 2013. Earnings of Nike surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.0% and surged 19.7% year over year in the third quarter of 2013 on the back of 9% year-over-year increase in revenues, improved margins, lower share count and reduced tax rate. However, revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.7%. Nike, during the second quarter of fiscal 2013, entered into an agreement to shed certain assets of the Umbro brand to Iconix Brand Group Inc. (ICON) for $225 million.
Francesca's currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Another company in the sector, Skechers USA Inc. (SKX), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), appears impressive.
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