SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Home furnishing retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc., which owns the Pottery Barn and West Elm brands, said Monday that its fourth-quarter profit rose 6 percent and initiated its first quarterly cash dividend.
The company also said it expects double-digit revenue growth to drive its profit well above Wall Street estimates in the coming year.
Net income grew to $120.8 million, or $1.02 per share, in the three months ended Jan. 29 from $113.7 million, or 95 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding a charge for its consolidation of the Hold Everything brand, the company reported earnings per share of $1.09 for the latest quarter.
Revenue rose 12 percent to $1.21 billion from $1.08 billion last year.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of $1.09 on revenue of $1.22 billion.
The company declared a quarterly dividend of 10 cents, payable May 24 to shareholders of record as of April 26. Williams-Sonoma also will buy back up to 2 million shares of its stock. The company has about 115.4 million shares outstanding.
For fiscal 2006, the company said fiscal 2006 earnings, including accounting changes and a charge to consolidate the Hold Everything brand, are expected to range from $1.90 to $1.94 per share, up 5 percent to 7 percent from 2005.
Excluding the charges, earnings per share are expected at $2.15 to $2.19, an increase of 14 percent to 17 percent. Analysts expect Williams-Sonoma to earn $1.98 per share for the year, according to a Thomson Financial survey.
Revenue is expected to be in a range of $3.9 billion to $3.97 billion, up 10 percent to 12 percent from 2005. Analysts forecast $3.98 billion in revenue.
Same-store sales growth _ an important measure of growth at stores open at least one year _ is projected to range from 3 percent to 5 percent, compared with 2005 same-store sales growth of 4.9 percent.
Direct-to-customer revenue, which includes catalog and Internet sales, is projected at $1.67 billion to $1.71 billion, an increase of 11 percent to 13 percent versus 2005.