SG&A expense, as a percentage of net sales, increased 77 basis points for the three month period ended September 30, 2012 compared to the prior year period. The increase in SG&A as a percentage of net sales was largely a result of increases in employee wage and benefit expenses due to increased health insurance costs, in addition to the deleveraging effect of the net sales decline. This increase was partially offset by decreases in other SG&A accounts as a result of cost control measures implemented during the first and second fiscal quarters.
Net advertising expense, as a percentage of net sales, increased 48 basis points during the three months ended September 30, 2012 compared to the prior year period. The increase as a percentage of net sales was driven largely by the deleveraging effect of the net sales decline.
Depreciation expense, as a percentage of net sales, increased 35 basis points for the three months ended September 30, 2012 compared to the prior year period. The increase as a percentage of net sales was primarily due the capital spend associated with the 19 net new stores opened during the past 12 months and the deleveraging effect of the net sales decline.
The Company’s effective income tax rate for the three months ended September 30, 2012 increased to 39.8% from 38.4% in the comparable prior year period. The increase in the effective income tax rate is primarily the result of federal income tax credits recognized in fiscal 2012 under the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010. These credits are no longer available in fiscal 2013.Share Repurchase During the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2012, the Company repurchased 1,198,437 shares of its common stock at a total cost of $8.3 million. The shares were repurchased under the Company’s $50 million share repurchase program that was authorized by the Company’s Board of Directors on May 24, 2012 and expires on May 23, 2013. As of September 30, 2012, the Company had approximately $30.5 million authorized remaining under the current share repurchase program.
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