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Lumber Liquidators 3Q net income almost doubles

Wednesday - 10/24/2012, 2:08pm  ET

By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM
AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. - Lumber Liquidators said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income almost doubled as the hardwood flooring retailer's sales rose and lower costs increased its margins.

The results beat analysts' expectations and its shares climbed almost 15 percent in midday trading after briefly touching an all-time high.

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. reported earnings of $12.9 million, or 46 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 30. That's up from $6.7 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago.

The Toano, Va.-based company said revenue rose about 19 percent to $204.3 million from $172 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 34 cents per share on revenue of $189.4 million.

Revenue at stores open at least a year increased 12 percent. That comparison is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes stores that recently opened or closed.

Lumber Liquidators opened seven stores during the quarter and has more than 285 stores in North America.

The company has benefited from broadening its advertising reach, expanding its selection and driving effective store execution, CEO Robert M. Lynch said in a news release.

"Our value proposition, combining price, selection, quality and availability with the expertise and service provided by our people, resonated with customers," Lynch said. "While our economy is facing a number of uncertainties in the coming months, our focus remains on continuous improvement in everything we do so that we can deliver value to our customers and shareholders."

Lumber Liquidators saw its gross margin_ the percentage of each dollar of sales that a retailer keeps _ increase to 38.1 percent from 35.6 percent last year as lower supply costs were partially offset by higher transportation costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses fell to 28 percent of net sales.

The company on Wednesday also raised its full-year 2012 earnings forecast to a range of between $1.53 and $1.59, up from between $1.30 and $1.42 per share. It expects net sales for the full year in the range of $791 million to $799 million on higher same-store sales. It also plans to open a total of 23 to 25 new stores during the year.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.45 per share on $778.5 million in revenue.

Its shares rose $7.32, or 14.6 percent, to $57.46 in midday trading after rising earlier in the session to $58.80. That is its highest level ever, according to FactSet.

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Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)