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Blue Nile Announces First Quarter 2010 Financial Results

Blue Nile, Inc. (Nasdaq: NILE), the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, today reported financial results for its first quarter ended April 4, 2010.

Net sales increased 18.7% to $74.1 million, the highest first quarter sales level in the Company’s history. Operating income for the quarter grew 23.3% to $3.6 million compared to $2.9 million in the first quarter last year. Operating margin expanded 10 basis points to 4.8% of net sales compared to 4.7% of net sales in the first quarter of 2009. Net income improved 23.1% to $2.4 million, or $0.16 per diluted share compared to $1.9 million, or $0.13 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2009.

Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter totaled $6.2 million, an increase of 17.1% over the same quarter in 2009 and a record level for any first quarter in the Company’s history. Net cash provided by operating activities totaled $29.8 million for the trailing twelve month period ended April 4, 2010. Non-GAAP free cash flow for the trailing twelve month period ended April 4, 2010 increased 133% to $27.5 million from $11.8 million a year ago.

“We are pleased with our first quarter results, including excellent growth in sales and earnings,” said Diane Irvine, Chief Executive Officer. “Our performance reflects the strong fundamentals of our business model and our compelling consumer proposition, as customers seek high quality products, tremendous value and an exceptional shopping experience.”

Selected Financial Highlights

  • International sales grew 71.4% in the quarter to $9.6 million, a record level for any first quarter in the Company’s history. Excluding the impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, international sales increased 51.8%.
  • Gross profit for the quarter totaled $15.8 million. As a percentage of sales, gross profit improved 10 basis points to 21.3% compared to 21.2% for the first quarter of 2009.
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter were $12.2 million, compared to $10.3 million in the first quarter of 2009. As a percentage of sales, selling, general and administrative expenses were 16.5% in both the current quarter and prior year quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses include stock-based compensation expense of $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2010, unchanged from the first quarter last year.
  • Net income per diluted share for the quarter includes stock-based compensation expense of $0.08 for both the first quarter of 2010 and 2009.
  • During the quarter, the Company repurchased 292,100 shares of its common stock for $15.2 million. At the end of the first quarter, cash and cash equivalents totaled $47.2 million.

Financial Guidance

The following forward-looking statements reflect Blue Nile’s expectations as of May 6, 2010. Actual results may be materially affected by many factors, such as consumer spending, economic conditions and the various factors detailed below.

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