Linens 'n Things ( LIN) reported fourth-quarter earnings today that missed Wall Street's slightly lowered estimates by a penny, and said it expects fiscal 2001 earnings to come in below analysts' expectations. Still, shares of Linens 'n Things gained $3.27, or 9.9%, to $36.26 in recent New York Stock Exchange trading. The company traded at a 52-week high of $36.50 earlier this morning.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, Linens 'n Things earned $34.5 million, or 84 cents a diluted share, up from $28.7 million, or 70 cents a share, in the same period one year ago. Fifteen analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial expected the company, which is based in Clifton, N.J., to earn 85 cents a share. The housewares retailer reported fourth-quarter revenue of $495.6 million, up from $414.3 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales for the quarter rose 2.4%. Linens 'n Things expects operating profit and net earnings to grow roughly 23% in fiscal 2001. The company projected diluted earnings of $1.92 a share. According to First Call, analysts expect the retailer to earn $1.97 a share for fiscal 2001. The company also said it believes revenue will grow 20% to $1.9 billion, and, as it plans to open 60 to 65 new stores, capital expenditures to total $90 million.