UPDATE 1-Lumber Q4 results beat market view; shares rise

miércoles 12 de marzo de 2008 17:04 CET

(Recasts, adds background, share movement)

March 12 (Reuters) - Hardwood-flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators Inc (LL.N: Cotización) posted quarterly results above analysts' estimates, helped by sales of its higher-margin products, and forecast strong results for 2008, sending shares up 23 percent.

The retailer posted higher results even as rivals, including big home improvement chains such as Home Depot Inc (HD.N: Cotización) and Lowe's Companies (LOW.N: Cotización), reported lackluster results after consumers curbed spending on big-ticket items amidst falling home prices and tighter lending conditions.

Lumber Liquidators, which made its market debut in November 2007, had claimed that it was insulated from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis as its typical customer was in his mid-thirities or older, with higher-than-average income and typically in his home for several years.

The retailer, whose brands include Bellawood and Builder's Pride, posted a fourth-quarter profit of $3.1 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with $1.6 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 24.4 percent to $105.5 million, it said.

Analysts on average had expected Lumber to earn 10 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $102.3 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

"We gained traction in our business in the second half of 2007 as we benefited from our increased in-stock positions and expanded merchandise assortment, as well as our improved inventory planning and management systems," Lumber CEO Jeffrey Griffiths said in a statement.

Toano, Virginia-based Lumber also reported an 8.6 percent rise in comparable store sales during the quarter.   Continuación...