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Williams-Sonoma Profit Tops View; Stock Up - Update

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (WSM) Tuesday reported an increase in fourth-quarter profit, with the home products and furnishings retailer benefiting from strong e-commerce sales. Williams-Sonoma's earnings and revenues for the quarter topped Street estimates.

Moving forward, the company detailed a strong outlook for fiscal year 2013, but a soft projection for the first quarter. Nevertheless, Williams-Sonoma shares gained 5 percent in after-hours trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company also announced a 41 percent increase in quarterly cash dividend amounting to $0.31 per share, payable May 24 to stockholders as of April 26. Williams-Sonoma also revealed a new $750 million stock repurchase program for the next three years.

San Francisco, California-based Williams-Sonoma reported fourth-quarter net income of $133.7 million or $1.34 per share, compared with $122.6 million or $1.17 per share last year.

On average, 28 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.29 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenues for the fourth quarter rose about 11 percent to $1.41 billion from $1.27 billion a year ago. Analysts on consensus estimated revenues of $1.40 billion for the quarter.

Direct-to-customer sales increased 19.3 percent from last year, with e-commerce sales up 24 percent. Retail sales increased 4 percent.

For the first quarter, the company expects earnings in the range of $0.33 to $0.36 per share on sales of $850 million to $870 million. Analysts currently estimate earnings of $0.39 per share on sales of $868.99 million.

For fiscal year 2013, Williams-Sonoma expects earnings of $2.65 to $2.75 per share on revenues of $4.20 billion and $4.28 billion. Analysts currently expect earnings of $2.54 per share on revenues of $4.04 billion.

Williams-Sonoma stock closed Tuesday's regular trade at $45.21, down 0.75%, on a volume of 3.4 million shares. In after hours, the stock gained 5.09%.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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