Williams-Sonoma raises full-year forecast, shares rise

Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:19am IST

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(Reuters) - Williams-Sonoma Inc's (WSM.N) quarterly results beat Wall Street expectations and the upscale cookware and home goods retailer raised its full-year profit outlook for the second time this year, sending its shares up 9 percent in extended trading.

The company, known for its Pottery Barn and West Elm chain of stores, has been boosting its e-commerce presence and expanding its global footprint.

Williams-Sonoma's results come a day after world's No. 2 home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc (LOW.N) cut its profit outlook for the year as it lost market share to larger rival Home Depot Inc (HD.N).

The company, which currently operates 579 stores in North America, said it plans to open its first company-owned stores outside the region, starting with four outlets in Sydney, Australia in early fiscal 2013.

"This means that you might see a faster organic growth in future than we have seen in the past couple of years," SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's David Magee said, referring to the company's geographical expansion.

Williams-Sonoma will also start selling Starbucks Corp's (SBUX.O) premium single-cup coffee and espresso machine the company said on a conference call.

The company said it would be the first retailer to launch the product, which was unveiled by Starbucks earlier this year to boost its presence in the fast-growing single-serve coffee market dominated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O) and Nestle SA (NESN.VX).

Williams-Sonoma expects to earn between $2.44 and $2.51 per share for the year, up from its previous outlook of $2.42 to $2.49 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $2.50 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Second-quarter profit rose to $43.4 million, or 43 cents per share, from $39.3 million, or 37 cents per share.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $874.3 million. Sales from its e-commerce business — through which the company reaches out to customers in more than 75 countries — rose 13.9 percent to $361 million in the quarter.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 41 cents per share, on revenue of $864.4 million for the second quarter.

The company's shares were up at $41.80 in after-market trading. They had closed at $38.23 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Arpita Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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