Why Michaels’ Earnings Are Not Enough

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The Michaels Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIK), the arts and crafts retail chain, released its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The Irving, Texas-based company said it had $0.39 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.16 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.38 in EPS and $1.15 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.38 in EPS and $1.16 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, comparable store sales — sales at stores open at least a year — increased 0.4% (flat on a constant currency basis) because of an increase in the average amount of a transaction, partially offset by a decrease in customer transactions.

Also in this time, the company opened six Michaels stores, closed one Michaels store, and relocated nine Michaels stores. At the end of the first quarter, the company operated 1,243 Michaels stores, 3 Aaron Brothers stores, and 36 Pat Catan’s stores.

Looking ahead to the fiscal second quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $0.12 to $0.14 with comparable sales remaining flat. There are consensus estimates calling for $0.19 in EPS and $1.07 billion in revenue for the coming quarter.

On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $422.45 million at the end of the quarter, compared with $197.86 at the end of the same period last year.

Chuck Rubin, Chairman and CEO, commented:

Our first quarter results were in-line with our expectations, and our team is executing well against our plans to make it easier for customers to bring their creativity to life. We continue to operate from a position of financial strength, as the industry leader with healthy operating margins, strong cash flows and high returns on invested capital, and we remain committed to leveraging these strengths to accelerate key initiatives in fiscal 2018 to drive future sales and earnings growth.

Shares of Michaels closed Wednesday at $21.93, with a consensus analyst price target of $23.31 and a 52-week range of $17.25 to $27.87. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 15% at $18.56 in early trading indications Thursday.