"The one area that did not meet our expectations was revenue in our Direct segment," Millner said. "The entire decline in Direct revenue for the quarter was attributable to weaker demand for clothing and footwear, and a 300 basis point reduction in Direct revenue from the absence of shipping income due to our CLUB Visa free shipping offer. In September, we responded with increased levels of advertising, which we will continue through the holiday season. As a result, Direct revenue has improved in the first few weeks of the fourth quarter."
The Cabela's CLUB Visa program also posted very strong results in the quarter. For the quarter, net charge-offs as a percentage of average credit card loans decreased 52 basis points to 1.71% compared to 2.23% in the prior year quarter. This is the lowest level of net charge-offs in five years. Primarily due to higher interest and fee income and reduced interest expense, Financial Services revenue increased 20.3% in the quarter to $85.9 million.
"Our strong results led to another quarter of improvement in return on invested capital, a vital measurement," Millner said. "Return on invested capital improved 150 basis points. Key operational improvements and the strong performance of our new stores give us confidence in our ability to increase return on capital going forward."
"We are optimistic about our prospects for the remainder of 2012 and 2013," Millner said. "The 28% increase in earnings per share and 25% increase in operating profit both exceeded our internal budget. At the end of the second quarter, we said externally that we expected earnings per share for 2012 to be 1-3% ahead of then current expectations of $2.60, or a range of $2.63 to $2.68. We now feel strongly that full year 2012 earnings per share will be at the high end of this range. While our 2013 budget is not yet finalized, we expect 2013 earnings per share to grow at least at a low double-digit rate."