sank 5% Wednesday after posting a first-quarter sales shortfall.
The company earned $40.6 million, or 35 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $33.2 million, or 30 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 35 cents a share in the most recent quarter.
First-quarter revenue rose 15.1% from a year ago period to $536.5 million, short of the $548 million target.
"In addition to opening 36 stores during the quarter, we continued to prepare for the opening of our newest distribution center in Indianapolis this summer," the company said. "The opening of this new DC will support our expansion plans of 170 to 175 new stores in 2006."
The Springfield, Mo.-based company said its comparable store product sales for stores open at least one year increased 3.8% in the quarter.
First-quarter gross profit rose 19% from a year ago period to $233.4 million and gross margin increased 142 basis points to 43.5%. Operating income for the quarter rose 21.3% to $65 million and operating margin improved 62 basis points to 12.1%.
Shares fell $1.75 to $33.