The designer and marketer of children's clothing and owner of OshKosh B'gosh stores reported net income fell 4.1% from the prior-year period to $130.6 million, or $2.83 per share. Despite the decline, the company beat analysts expectations of $2.56 per share. Fourth-quarter adjusted EPS was $2.84, beating analysts' consensus of $2.56.
Net sales rose 6% to $1.1 billion on a 5.7% rise in e-commerce and retail sales in the U.S. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.07 billion.
For the full-year 2018, net sales rose 2% to $3.5 billion. Net income fell 6.9% to $282 million, or $6.00 earnings per share, and adjusted net income increased to $295 million, with a per-share basis rising 9% to $6.29.
The company blamed the decline in fourth-quarter net income from the prior comparable period on the rise of its income-tax provision. Carter's provision for income taxes jumped from $2.2 million in 2017 to $30.4 million in 2018.
"For the year, Carter's achieved its 30th consecutive year of sales growth, and a record level of profitability enabled by the significant benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017," Chairman and CEO of Carter's Michael D. Casey said. "We believe Carter's is well-positioned to achieve good growth in sales and earnings in the years ahead."
The company expects first-quarter net sales to decline 4% to 5% with adjusted EPS expected between 65 cents and 70 cents. For full-year 2019, the company expects net sales to grow between 1% to 2% and a rise of adjusted diluted EPS between 4% and 6%.