CHICAGO, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com Analyst Blog features: Zumiez Inc. (Nasdaq: ZUMZ), Hot Topic Inc. (Nasdaq: HOTT), Wet Seal Inc. (Nasdaq: WTSLA), PetSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PETM) and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (NYSE: MSO).
Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=4579
Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:
Zumiez Sales Zoom
Zumiez Inc. (Nasdaq: ZUMZ), an action sports retailer in the United States, reported better-than-expected total net sales result for the four-week period ended February 26, 2011. Total net sales for the period increased 18.3% to $32.7 million compared with $27.6 million.
For the reported period, comparable store sales increased 12.8% compared with a rise of 11.2% in the prior-year period. The February results marked the fifteenth consecutive month of comparable store sales growth. In after hour trading, the company's shares rose 5.82% to $27.45.
Hot Topic Inc. (Nasdaq: HOTT), which competes with Zumiez, reported a decline of 1.4% in February comparable stores sales, with total sales declining 1.5%. In after hour trading, the company's shares increased 0.95% to $5.33.
Prior to this, the company reported third-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share compared with 17 cents a share in the third quarter of 2009, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 37 cents. Net income from operations was $1.1 million compared with a loss of $1.8 million in the prior-year quarter.
Net sales in the third quarter increased 20.0% year over year to $135.9 million from $113.2 million a year ago. Comparable store sales increased 14.4% in the quarter compared with a decrease of 8.0% in the third quarter of 2009.
Zumiez is a mall-based specialty retailer of action-sports related apparel, footwear, equipment, and accessories. The company targets young men and women in the age group of 12 to 24 years, who seek popular brands that represent a lifestyle centered on extreme sports activities. Zumiez's stores span across 2,900 square feet on an average, and feature couches and video game stations to encourage customers to shop for extended periods. The company's stores are strategically located near busy areas of the mall, such as food courts, movie theatres, music/game stores and other popular teenage hang-out destinations.
The company will announce its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2010 year-end financial results on Thursday, March 10, 2011. Management in its third-quarter 2010 results provided earnings guidance in the range of 43 cents and 47 cents for fourth-quarter 2010. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter 2010 earnings is 47 cents per share. For full-year 2010 and 2011, the Zacks Consensus Estimates are 87 cents and $1.04 per share, respectively.
Zumiez, which competes with Wet Seal Inc. (Nasdaq: WTSLA), currently holds a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock. Besides, the company retains a long-term 'Neutral' recommendation on the stock.
PetSmart Outpaces Estimate
PetSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PETM), the specialty retailer of products, services, and solutions for pets, recently posted fourth-quarter 2010 earnings of 77 cents a share, up 26.2% from 61 cents in the year-ago quarter, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 74 cents.
Management now expects fiscal 2011 earnings between $2.23 and $2.35 per share. The company also projects first-quarter 2011 earnings between 52 cents and 56 cents.
PetSmart delivered a top-line growth of 8.1% in the quarter to $1,520.0 million, which came ahead of the Zacks Revenue Estimate of $1,511.0 million. The company expects revenue to increase in the mid-single digits range for fiscal 2011.
Merchandise sales grew 7.6% to $1,359.6 million, whereas service sales climbed 7.2% to $151.9 million. Other revenue in the quarter came in at $8.5 million.
Favorable currency fluctuations, increased consumer transactions coupled with robust sales during the festival season facilitated the company in escalating its top and bottom lines.
The Phoenix-based pet products retailer hinted that comparable-store sales elevated 6.3% in the quarter, aided by a 4.4% growth in comparable transaction. PetSmart forecasted comparable-store sales growth between low to mid-single digits for the first quarter and 3% to 4% for fiscal 2011.
The company's innovative and differentiated products as well its sustained effort to expand its portfolio of brands and assortments have helped to deliver healthy results. PetSmart's collaboration with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (NYSE: MSO) has aided the company to launch different lines of pet products.
Despite a 6.6% rise in the cost of goods sold, the company posted a substantial increase of 11.7% in gross profit to $465.0 million, benefiting from the top-line growth. Consequently, gross margin expanded 100 basis points to 30.6%. Operating income surged 11.7% for the quarter to $149.8 million, whereas operating margin increased 40 basis points to 9.9%.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5514.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5516
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4580.
Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ZacksResearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.
Web Content Editor
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.