Same-store sales rose 10.3% in the quarter, boosting the annual same-store sales rate to 9.8%. Margins rose to 59.4% in the fourth quarter, up from 58.4% in the same period a year ago. The company had this to say about its margin improvement:
The 110 basis point improvement in merchandise margins continues to be positively impacted by strong input margins, the right balance between regular and promotional pricing, and well-managed inventory levels.
Gross profit margins rose from 42.8% a year ago to 45.5%.
Guidance did not show any big surprise. The company forecasts EPS at $1.06-$1.12, compared with a consensus estimate of $1.12. Same-store sales growth is expected in the mid-single digit range.
Shares are up 4% in the pre-market, at $18.99 in a 52-week range of $8.60-$19.09.
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