At Home Group Inc. HOME gained 3.1% after its second-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings release, wherein earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues missed the same.
The company’s adjusted earnings of 18 cents per share in the quarter surpassed the consensus estimate of 15 cents by 20% but declined significantly from 34 cents registered a year ago. Notably, At Home has been facing higher labor costs in support of growth strategies, increased occupancy costs, higher preopening expenses on account of new store openings and rise in advertising expenses.
At Home reported net sales of $342.3 million, which missed the consensus mark of $343 million by 0.3%. That said, the reported figure was up 18.7% from $288.5 million in the prior-year quarter owing to increased new store openings. However, a 0.4% decrease in comparable-store sales or comps partly offset the positives. The decline was due to adverse weather conditions.
At Home Group Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
At Home Group Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | At Home Group Inc. Quote
Gross margin of 29.3% was down 450 basis points (bps) from the year-ago figure mainly due to product margin contraction associated with incremental markdowns and increased occupancy expenses resulting from the adoption of ASC 842 “Leases” as well as sale-leaseback transactions in fiscal 2020 and 2019.
Adjusted selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of net sales, declined 50 bps year over year to 22% mainly due to leverage of corporate overhead.
Adjusted operating margin contracted 300 bps to 6.8% from the year-ago level owing to the above-mentioned headwinds. Adjusted EBITDA of $47.1 million decreased 4.4% year over year during the quarter under review.
As of Jul 27, 2019, At Home had 204 stores in 39 states, reflecting a 23.6% increase from Jul 28, 2018. Out of these, 13 new stores were opened during the fiscal second quarter.
At Home reported cash and cash equivalents of $13.1million as of Jul 27, 2019, compared with $11 million on Jan 26, 2019. Long-term debt came in at $336.3 million at the end of the fiscal second quarter compared with $336.4 million at fiscal 2019-end.
Total liquidity (cash plus $133.1 million of availability under revolving credit facility) was $142.6 million as of Jul 27, 2019.
Fiscal 2020 Guidance
At Home is making consistent efforts to overcome fluid tariff situation by implementing key marketing and merchandising initiatives that will help strengthen customer value.
It now expects total net sales in the $1,372.5-$1,387.5 million range (versus prior expectation of $1,370-$1,390 million), reflecting 18-19% growth on a year-over-year basis. Comps are expected to be between negative 1.5% to positive 0.5%, with 32 net (36 gross) new store openings.
In view of 90-100 bps impact of the second Distribution Center (“DC”), gross margin is anticipated in the range of 29.2-29.4%. Adjusted operating margin is expected within 6.6-6.9%, inclusive of 80-90 bps impact of the second DC.
At Home maintained its adjusted earnings guidance in the band of 67-74 cents per share, which is higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 67 cents (considering the midpoint of the guided range).
Capital expenditures are likely to be between $135 million and $155 million, net of approximately $125 million of sale-leaseback proceeds.
For the fiscal third quarter, At Home expects net sales in the range of $312-$317 million, reflecting 17-19% growth on a year-over-year basis. Comps are expected between down 2.5% and 0.5% during the quarter. Adjusted operating margins are projected to grow 1.9-2.4% from the prior-year quarter, including nearly 110 bps impact of the second DC. The company expects an adjusted loss in the band of 4-1cents.Additionally, the company anticipates opening 12 gross and nine net new stores.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Currently, At Home carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Tempur Sealy International, Inc. TPX, William Sonoma, Inc. WSM and Target Corporation TGT, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Tempur Sealy International has an impressive long-term earnings growth rate of 15%.
Williams-Sonoma’s and Target earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 7.9% and 4.6%, respectively.
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