Williams-Sonoma Stays Course on Earnings Guidance

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Williams-Sonoma Inc. expects to meet its third-quarter earnings guidance of 5 cents to 7 cents per diluted share that was provided to investors Aug. 24, the company said yesterday.

"During the first week following the [Sept. 11 terrorist attacks], the organization assessed the variables in the business that could be controlled and immediately responded to the volatility in sales," said Dale Hilpert, CEO of the San Francisco-based cataloger. "The timing of the Sept. 11 events were such that we were able to adjust the late third- and fourth-quarter catalog circulation plans and put into effect aggressive cost-reduction and inventory-management programs. Sales for the third quarter have been and are expected to continue to be volatile."

Third-quarter 2001 guidance, for the 13 weeks ending Oct. 28, includes the company's revenue expectation of $460 million to $470 million, compared with previous guidance of $478 million to $492 million.

Direct-to-customer sales growth is expected to be flat to negative low-single digits.

"We also remain committed to delivering our current 2001 full-year earnings guidance of $1.17 to $1.24 per diluted share," Hilpert said. "Based on current sales trends, we believe that we will be operating in a very uncertain retail climate for the balance of the year and that our revenues will be lower than previous guidance. The company now expects revenues to be in the range of $2.065 billion to $2.080 billion versus previous guidance of $2.115 billion to $2.145 billion."


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