Conn’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN), a specialty retailer of home appliances, furniture, mattresses, consumer electronics and provider of consumer credit, today announced preliminary fourth-quarter fiscal 2014 results and updated 2015 earnings guidance. The Company also announced it will host a conference call on March 27, 2014, to discuss its fiscal 2014 fourth-quarter financial results.
Significant items for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 include:
- Same store sales rose an estimated 33.4% from the same period last year;
- Preliminary retail segment net sales increased 44.8% over the prior-year quarter to an estimated $301.6 million;
- Estimated retail gross margin expanded from the same period last year to approximately 40%;
- Credit segment provision for bad debts as a percentage of the average outstanding portfolio balance is expected to exceed previously issued full-year fiscal 2014 guidance;
- The percentage of the customer portfolio balance 60-plus days delinquent was 8.8% at January 31, 2014, an increase of 30 basis points from October 31, 2013;
- Consolidated selling, general and administrative expenses were approximately 27% of total revenues;
- Planned new store openings of 15 to 20 for fiscal 2015 re-affirmed; and
- Fiscal 2015 earnings guidance revised to $3.40 to $3.70 per diluted share.
Based on preliminary results, the Company expects to generate diluted earnings per share of between $0.76 and $0.81 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, which includes a net benefit of approximately $0.01 per diluted share associated with facility closures. After excluding this benefit, adjusted diluted earnings per share for the three months ended January 31, 2014, is expected to range between $0.75 and $0.80 – below the level anticipated in the Company’s previously issued full-year fiscal 2014 guidance. This decline reflects the impact of increased provision for bad debt due to higher-than-expected accounts receivable charge-offs and delinquency rates in December and January, and portfolio growth.