Williams-Sonoma Pops on Q3 Issues

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) reported stronger-than-expected results for its third quarter on Thursday.

Net revenue growth of 22.4% to $1.765 billion, driven by acceleration across all brands The company also announced a GAAP operating margin of 15.6%; non-GAAP operating margin of 15.7%, more than double that of last year and the highest quarterly operating margin performance outside of a holiday fourth quarter

GAAP diluted EPS of $2.54; non-GAAP diluted EPS of $2.56, over 150% higher than last year
Maintained strong liquidity position of $773 million in cash, including approximately $727 million in operating cash flow resulting from our strong performance year to date, enabling the company to repay in full all short-term borrowings under its $500 million revolver, reinstate its share repurchase program and repurchase $109 million in shares in the third quarter, and commit to increasing its next quarterly dividend payment by 10% to $0.53 per share.

CEO Laura Alber said, "In the third quarter, sales again outperformed expectations with demand comp up nearly 31% compared to a net comp of 24%, driven by strength across all brands.

"E-commerce accelerated sequentially to a record net comp of over 49% and we were pleased to see our store performance improve throughout the quarter to a net comp of negative 11%. Even more encouraging is the retail demand comp at negative 4%. And, we delivered these sales more profitably, with operating margins reaching record levels at 15.7%."

WSM hurtled $9.57, or 9.5%, to $110.61 early Friday.