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Williams-Sonoma Q4 Profit Beats Street View, Approves $1.5 Bln Buyback; Shares Up 6%

Shares of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM) gained over 6% on Wednesday's extended trading session after the company reported its fourth-quarter results, with earnings trumping Street estimates. The company also lifted its quarterly dividend and authorized a $1.5 billion stock buyback.

Fourth-quarter net earnings rose to $402.9 million or $5.41 per share from $309.0 million or $3.92 per share last year. Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $5.42 per share, up from $3.95 per share last year.

Revenues for the fourth quarter rose to $2.50 billion from $2.29 billion last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $4.82 per share on revenues of $2.58 billion. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The company reported comparable brand revenue growth of 10.8%, including West Elm at 18.3%, Pottery Barn accelerating to 16.2%, and Williams Sonoma at 4.5% on top of 26.2% last year.

"We are thrilled to deliver a strong finish to fiscal 2021, driving record results, with Q4 comps of 10.8% and operating margin expansion of 310 basis points. These results reflect the resilience in our business model, as we successfully navigated unprecedented challenges within the supply chain, material and labor shortages, and capacity limitations from our incredible consumer demand," said CEO Laura Alber.

Looking forward, the company said it plans its fiscal year 2022 financial performance to be in line with its long-term financial guidance of mid-to-high single digit annual net revenue growth, increasing revenues to $10 billion by fiscal year 2024, and operating margins relatively in-line with fiscal year 2021 operating margin.

Separately, Williams-Sonoma authorized a 10% increase to its quarterly cash dividend to $0.78 per share. The quarterly dividend is payable on May 27, 2022, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on April 22, 2022.

The Board of Directors also approved a new $1.5 billion stock repurchase authorization, which supersedes the approximately $750 million that remains outstanding under the company's current stock repurchase authorization.

WSM closed Wednesday's trading at $152.45, up $3.94 or 2.65%, on the NYSE. The stock further gained $10.29 or 6.75% in the after-hours trading.

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