Mr. Miller continued, "Despite our fourth quarter sales being slightly below expectations, we are pleased to have further strengthened our balance sheet at the end of 2010, as our positive cash flow allowed us to further reduce borrowings under our credit facility by 12% to $48.3 million at year-end compared to the end of fiscal 2009. Our sound financial condition and anticipated continued healthy cash flow has enabled us to enhance shareholder value through the 50 percent dividend increase that we announced today. Although continued uncertainty in the economy and a lack of visibility as to the timing and degree of a recovery has made it difficult to predict consumer demand, we continue to believe that our proven business strategy will positively impact sales, earnings and cash flow, and over the long-term will deliver a solid performance for our shareholders."
Quarterly Cash Dividend
The Company's Board of Directors has approved an increase in the Company's quarterly cash dividend to $0.075 per share of outstanding common stock, for an annual rate of $0.30 per share. Previously, the Company's quarterly cash dividend was $0.05 per share, for an annual rate of $0.20 per share. The quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per share of outstanding common stock will be paid on March 22, 2011 to stockholders of record as of March 8, 2011.
GuidanceFor the fiscal 2011 first quarter, the Company expects same store sales in the negative low single-digit to positive low single-digit range and earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.15 to $0.22. For comparative purposes, the Company's earnings per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 were $0.23. Store Openings During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company opened seven new stores, including three relocations of existing stores that have closed in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 or will close later in the year. The Company's store count at the end of fiscal 2010 increased to 398 stores from 384 stores at the end of fiscal 2009. During the first quarter to date, the Company has opened two new stores, both of which were relocations, and closed two stores that were relocated in late 2010. Excluding stores closed as part of relocations that began last year, the Company currently anticipates opening between 10 and 15 net new stores during fiscal 2011.
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