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Sears Hometown And Outlet Stores, Inc. Reports Preliminary Fourth Quarter And Full 2013 Fiscal Year Results And Announces Annual Meeting Date

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. ("SHO") (NASDAQ: SHOS) today reported preliminary, unaudited results for its fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended February 1, 2014 and announced the date it intends to hold its 2014 annual meeting of stockholders and the date it intends to begin mailing its proxy statement and related materials for the annual meeting.

Overview of Preliminary, Unaudited Results

Results for the fourth quarter of 2013 (13 weeks) compared to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012 (14 weeks) included:

  • Operating income decreased 55.0% to $7.8 million
  • EPS decreased 61.9% to $0.16
  • Adjusted EBITDA decreased 33.7% to $13.2 million
  • Comparable store sales (13 weeks to 13 weeks) decreased 3.4%
  • 155,151 shares of stock were repurchased for $4.2 million

Results for the 2013 fiscal year (52 weeks) compared to the 2012 fiscal year (53 weeks) included:

  • Operating income decreased 38.6% to $61.1 million
  • EPS decreased 40.4% to $1.55
  • Adjusted EBITDA decreased 34.9% to $71.5 million
  • Comparable store sales (52 weeks to 52 weeks) decreased 2.2%
  • 434,398 shares of stock were repurchased for $12.5 million

SHO's fiscal year ends on the Saturday nearest the end of January.  The 2013 fiscal year included 52 weeks and the 2012 fiscal year included 53 weeks.  Comparable store sales calculations for the fourth fiscal quarter and the fiscal year exclude the impact of the 53rd week.  The 2012 fiscal year's 53rd week contributed an estimated $3.1 million in operating income for the year.

Bruce Johnson, Chief Executive Officer and President, said,  "Fourth quarter results were disappointing, especially in the Hometown and Hardware segment ("Hometown") where holiday sales and margins of our important Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools significantly underperformed management's expectations.  In the Outlet segment ("Outlet"), increased holiday promotional spending did not drive the expected sales increases.  Total Company January sales were negatively impacted by the unusually severe winter weather in many of our trade areas.  SHO made significant progress on four key strategic fronts during the quarter, which we believe position us favorably for 2014.  First, we opened 30 stores, with half of those openings occurring in January. Total sales from these 30 new stores during the first quarter of 2014 to date have met our expectations, with particularly strong sales from the new Outlet Stores (13 of the 30).  Second, we continued SHO's transition to an operating model consisting primarily of stores operated by independent dealers and franchisees.  During the quarter we converted 19 SHO-operated stores to independent dealer- and franchisee-operated stores.  As of February 1, 2014, 1,115 of our 1,260 stores were operated by independent dealers and franchisees.  Third, we achieved double-digit year-on-year growth in both online and multichannel sales, particularly at searsoutlet.com where sales for the quarter grew nearly 80% from Q4 2012 to approximately $11 million.  Finally, new Outlet sourcing initiatives began to shift our inventory positions in furniture, apparel, and, most importantly, out-of-box appliances, to products that we are confident, when this mix shift is fully realized in 2014, will deliver higher overall merchandise margins than in the fourth quarter of 2013."

Fourth Quarter Results (13 Weeks for the Fourth Quarter 2013 and 14 Weeks for the Fourth Quarter 2012)

Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 (13 weeks) decreased $28.7 million, or 4.5%, to $602.5 million from the fourth quarter of 2012 (14 weeks).  This decrease was primarily due to sales of $36.5 million in the 53rd week of fiscal year 2012 and a comparable store sales decrease of 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.  Partially offsetting these decreases were sales from new stores (net of closures) and higher initial franchise revenues (which were $10.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to zero in the fourth quarter of 2012).

The comparable store sales decrease of 3.4% was comprised of a 4.0% decrease in Hometown and a 1.5% decrease in Outlet.  The 3.4% decrease was primarily driven by lower consumer electronics sales following our planned exit from this category in most Hometown stores, lower tools-category sales in both segments, lower apparel sales in Outlet, and lower major appliance sales in Hometown.  These decreases were partially offset by higher lawn and garden sales in Hometown and higher major appliance and furniture sales in Outlet.  Excluding consumer electronics, same store sales decreased 1.0% in Hometown, 1.3% in Outlet, and 1.1% overall.

Gross margin was $140.0 million, or 23.2% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to $156.3 million, or 24.8% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2012. The decrease in gross margin rate was primarily driven by (1) lower margins on merchandise sales, (2) $4.4 million of Outlet distribution center costs that were separated from selling store costs and were reflected in selling and administrative expense in 2012 and are now reflected in gross margin, and (3) a $1.5 million favorable impact in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to a change in the timing of recognition of warranty expenses.  These decreases were partially offset by the increase in initial franchise revenues.

Selling and administrative expenses decreased to $126.8 million, or 21.0% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $136.4 million, or 21.6% of net sales, in the prior year quarter. The decrease was primarily due to $7.3 million of expense incurred in the 53rd week of 2012, $4.4 million in Outlet distribution-center costs that were separated from selling store costs and were reflected in selling and administrative expense in the fourth quarter of 2012 and reflected in gross margin in the fourth quarter of 2013, and a reduction in payroll and benefits related to franchise conversions partially offset by higher owner commissions (primarily related to the conversion of Company-operated stores to franchisee-operated stores).

Operating income decreased to $7.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $17.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.  The $9.5 million decrease was primarily due to lower sales and a lower gross margin rate partially offset by lower selling and administrative expenses, as noted above, and includes the impact of an estimated $3.1 million earned during the 53rd week of 2012.

Full Year Results (52 Weeks for 2013 and 53 Weeks for 2012)

Net sales for the 2013 fiscal year (52 weeks) decreased $32.0 million, or 1.3%, to $2.4 billion from the 2012 fiscal year (53 weeks).  This decrease in sales was driven by a 2.2% decrease in comparable store sales and $36.5 million in sales in the 53rd week of 2012 partially offset by sales from new stores (net of closures) and higher initial franchise revenues, which were $25.6 million in 2013 compared to $11.2 million in 2012.  The comparable store sales decrease was comprised of a 3.2% decrease in Hometown partially offset by a 1.2% increase in Outlet.   The 2.2% comparable store sales decrease was primarily driven by lower consumer electronics sales due to the completed exit of the business in the majority of Hometown stores, lower sales of lawn and garden in Hometown due to weather-related late starts to the spring/summer and fall seasons, lower Outlet apparel sales due to a narrower assortment, and lower tools-category sales in both segments.  These decreases were partially offset by higher major appliances sales in both segments.  Excluding consumer electronics, same store sales decreased 1.5% in Hometown, increased 1.4% in Outlet, and decreased 0.8% overall.

Gross margin was $578.1 million or 23.9% of sales in 2013, compared to $613.4 million or 25.0% of sales in 2012.  The decrease in gross margin rate was primarily driven by (1) lower margins on merchandise sales, (2) $14.4 million of distribution center costs that were separated from selling store costs and were reflected in selling and administrative expense in 2012 and are now reflected in gross margin, (3) $3.8 million in warranty expense timing benefit in the third and fourth quarters of 2012, and (4) $3.7 million in benefit in the first and second quarters of 2012 from the impact of store closing reserves established in 2011, and (5) $2.2 million of  additional occupancy and other costs incurred as a result of the Company's October 2012 separation (the "Separation") from Sears Holdings Corporation ("Sears Holdings").  These decreases were partially offset by higher initial franchise revenues, lower occupancy costs (excluding the additional $2.2 million of occupancy and other costs) resulting from the conversion of Company-operated stores to franchisee-operated stores, and a $2.1 million increase in warranty estimate reserves in 2012.

Selling and administrative costs increased to $506.6 million, or 20.9% of sales, in 2013 as compared to $504.4 million, or 20.6% of sales in 2012.  This increase primarily resulted from higher owner commissions in Hometown related to the conversion of Company-operated stores to franchisee-operated stores and an estimated $14.9 million of higher operating costs incurred as a result of operating as an independent company.  These increases were partially offset by $14.4 million in Outlet distribution-center costs that were separated from selling store costs and were reflected in selling and administrative expense in  2012 and a reduction in payroll and benefits related to the Company-operated stores conversions and $7.3 million of expense incurred in the 53rd week of 2012.

Full year operating income decreased to $61.1 million in 2013 compared to $99.5 million in 2012.  The $38.4 million decrease was primarily due to the lower sales, lower gross margin rate, and higher selling and administrative expenses noted above, and includes the impact of an estimated $3.1 million earned during the 53rd week of 2012.

Financial Position

We had $23.5 million in cash and cash equivalents as of February 1, 2014 and $20.1 million as of February 2, 2013.  Availability as of February 1, 2014 under our Credit Agreement, dated as of October 11, 2012, among the Company, its subsidiaries, Bank of America, N.A., and other lenders (the "Senior ABL Facility") was $145.3 million with $99.1 million drawn and $5.6 million of letters of credit outstanding under the facility.  Through the fourth quarter of 2013, we financed our operations and investments primarily with short-term borrowings under the Senior ABL Facility.  Our primary need for liquidity was to fund inventory purchases and capital expenditures and for general corporate purposes.

Total merchandise inventories were $482.1 million at February 1, 2014 and $428.4 million at February 2, 2013.  Merchandise inventories increased primarily due to higher inventory in home appliances.  The largest increase was in Outlet, where home appliance inventory increased primarily due to (1) higher out-of-box product inventory resulting from sourcing initiatives, (2) higher in-box inventory, and (3) an increased store count due to new store openings.  In Hometown, home appliance inventories increased primarily due to merchandise resets and cost increases.  In addition, due to category expansion, furniture inventory increased in Outlet and tools inventory increased in Hometown.  These increases were partially offset by a reduction in consumer electronics inventory resulting from our exit of this category in most Hometown stores and lower Hometown lawn and garden inventory due to a sell-down of mower inventory and high demand for snowthrowers.

During the year the Company repurchased 434,398 shares of the Company's stock for $12.5 million at an average price of $28.83 as part of the $25 million share repurchase program authorized by the Company's Board of Directors on August 28, 2013.

Adjusted EBITDA

In addition to our net income determined in accordance with GAAP, for purposes of evaluating operating performance we also use Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, or "Adjusted EBITDA," which excludes certain significant items as set forth below. Our management uses Adjusted EBITDA, among other factors, for evaluating the operating performance of our business for comparable periods.  Adjusted EBITDA should not be used by investors or other third parties as the sole basis for formulating investment decisions as it excludes a number of important cash and non-cash recurring items.  Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as a substitute for GAAP measurements.

While Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measurement, management believes that it is an important indicator of operating performance because:

  • EBITDA excludes the effects of financing and investing activities by eliminating the effects of interest and depreciation costs; and
  • Other significant items, while periodically affecting our results, may vary significantly from period to period and may have a disproportionate effect in a given period, which affects comparability of results.

The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income, the most comparable GAAP measure, for each of the periods indicated:

Preliminary and subject to change



13 Weeks Ended vs 14 Weeks Ended


52 Weeks Ended vs 53 weeks Ended

Thousands


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013

Net income


$

3,723


$

9,659


$

35,550


$

60,080

Income tax expense


3,521


7,211


24,333


39,900

Other income


(548)


(385)


(1,854)


(1,354)

Interest expense (income)


1,077


788


3,046


899

Operating income


7,773


17,273


61,075


99,525

Depreciation


5,438


2,659


12,006


9,474

Store closing charges and severance costs





797

Gain on the sale of assets




(1,567)


Adjusted EBITDA


$

13,211


$

19,932


$

71,514


$

109,796

Information Regarding 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

We intend to hold our 2014 annual meeting of stockholders ("Annual Meeting") on May 28, 2014 and to begin mailing our proxy statement and related materials for the Annual Meeting on or about April 15, 2014.  We have fixed April 7, 2014 as the record date for determining stockholders entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements (the "forward looking statements").  The forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance, and achievements in the future to be materially different from the future results, future performance, and future achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, information concerning our future financial performance, business strategy, plans, goals, beliefs, expectations, and objectives.  The forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our management.  The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the Company has not completed preparation of its audited financial statements for the year ended February 1, 2014 and the preliminary results reported in this news release may be subject to adjustments and could change materially; our reliance on Sears Holdings for most products and services that are important to the successful operation of our business; our potential need to depend on Sears Holdings beyond the expiration or earlier termination by Sears Holdings of certain of our agreements with Sears Holdings; the possible material adverse effects on SHO if Sears Holdings' financial condition were to significantly deteriorate, including if as a consequence Sears Holdings were to choose to seek the protection of the U.S. bankruptcy laws; our ability to offer merchandise and services that our customers want, including those under the KENMORE®, CRAFTSMAN®, and DIEHARD® brands (which brands are owned by subsidiaries of Sears Holdings); the sale by Sears Holdings and its subsidiaries to other retailers that compete with us of major home appliances and other products branded with the Kenmore, Craftsman, or DieHard brands; the willingness and ability of Sears Holdings to fulfill its contractual obligations to us; our ability to successfully manage our inventory levels and implement initiatives to improve inventory management and other capabilities; competitive conditions in the retail industry; worldwide economic conditions and business uncertainty, the availability of consumer and commercial credit, changes in consumer confidence, tastes, preferences and spending, and changes in vendor relationships; the fact that our past performance generally, as reflected on our historical financial statements, may not be indicative of our future performance as a result of, among other things, the consolidation of Hometown and Outlet into a single business entity, the Separation, operating as a standalone business entity, and the impact of increased costs due to a decrease in our purchasing power following the Separation and other losses of benefits associated with being wholly owned by Sears Holdings and its subsidiaries prior to the Separation; our agreements related to the Separation and our continuing relationship with Sears Holdings were negotiated while we were a subsidiary of Sears Holdings and we may have received different terms from unaffiliated third parties (including with respect to merchandise-vendor and service-provider indemnification and defense for negligence claims and claims arising out of failure to comply with contractual obligations); our reliance on Sears Holdings to provide computer systems to process transactions with our customers (including the point-of-sale system for the stores we operate and the stores that our independent dealers and franchisees operate, which point-of-sale system captures, among other things, credit-card information supplied by our customers) and others, quantify our results of operations, and manage our business ("SHO's SHC-Supplied Systems"); SHO's SHC-Supplied Systems may be subject to disruptions and data/security breaches for which Sears Holdings may be unwilling or unable to indemnify and defend us against third-party claims and other losses resulting from such disruptions and data/security breaches, which could have one or more material adverse effects on SHO; limitations and restrictions in the Senior ABL Facility and related agreements governing our indebtedness and our ability to service our indebtedness; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms; our dependence on independent dealers and independent franchisees to operate their stores profitably and in a manner consistent with our concepts and standards; our dependence on sources outside the U.S. for significant amounts of our merchandise inventories; impairment charges for goodwill or fixed-asset impairment for long-lived assets; our ability to attract, motivate and retain key executives and other employees; the impact of increased costs associated with being a public company; our ability to maintain effective internal controls as a public company; our ability to realize the benefits that we expect to achieve from the Separation; low trading volume of our common stock due to limited liquidity or a lack of analyst coverage; the impact on our common stock and our overall performance as a result of our principal stockholders' ability to exert control over us; and other risks, uncertainties, and factors discussed in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We intend the forward-looking statements to speak only as of the date of this news release, and we do not undertake to update or revise the forward-looking statements as more information becomes available.

About Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. is a national retailer primarily focused on selling home appliances, hardware, tools and lawn and garden equipment.  Our Hometown stores are designed to provide our customers with in-store and online access to a wide selection of national brands of home appliances, tools, lawn and garden equipment, sporting goods and household goods, depending on the particular format.  Our Outlet stores are designed to provide our customers with in-store and online access to new, one-of-a-kind, out-of-carton, discontinued, obsolete, used, reconditioned, overstocked, and scratched and dented products across a broad assortment of merchandise categories, including home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, apparel, mattresses, sporting goods and tools at prices that are significantly lower than manufacturers' suggested retail prices.  As of February 1, 2014, we and our dealers and franchisees operated 1,260 stores across all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico and Bermuda. Our principal executive offices are located at 5500 Trillium Boulevard, Suite 501, Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60192 and our telephone number is (847) 286-7000.

 


Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income

(Unaudited)

Preliminary and subject to change





13 Weeks Ended vs 14 Weeks Ended


52 Weeks Ended vs 53 weeks Ended

Thousands, except per share amounts


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013

NET SALES


$

602,478


$

631,161


$

2,421,562


$

2,453,606

COSTS AND EXPENSES









Cost of sales and occupancy


462,451


474,860


1,843,418


1,840,207

Selling and administrative


126,816


136,370


506,630


504,400

Depreciation


5,438


2,659


12,006


9,474

Gain on the sale of assets




(1,567)


Total costs and expenses


594,705


613,889


2,360,487


2,354,081

Operating income


7,773


17,273


61,075


99,525

Interest income (expense)


(1,077)


(788)


(3,046)


(899)

Other income


548


385


1,854


1,354

Income before income taxes


7,244


16,870


59,883


99,980

Income tax expense


(3,521)


(7,211)


(24,333)


(39,900)

NET INCOME


$

3,723


$

9,659


$

35,550


$

60,080










NET INCOME PER COMMON SHARE









ATTRIBUTABLE TO STOCKHOLDERS


















Basic:


$

0.16


$

0.42


$

1.55


$

2.60

Diluted:


$

0.16


$

0.42


$

1.55


$

2.60










Basic weighted average common shares outstanding


22,729


23,100


22,984


23,100

Diluted weighted average common shares outstanding


22,729


23,100


22,989


23,100

 


Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)

Preliminary and subject to change



Thousands


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013

ASSETS





CURRENT ASSETS





Cash and cash equivalents


$

23,475


$

20,068

Accounts receivable


19,252


10,986

Merchandise inventories


482,107


428,437

Prepaid expenses and other current assets


13,216


14,321

Total current assets


538,050


473,812

PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT, net


48,973


53,383

GOODWILL


167,000


167,000

LONG-TERM DEFERRED TAXES


52,672


69,001

OTHER ASSETS


40,490


22,607

TOTAL ASSETS


$

847,185


$

785,803

LIABILITIES





CURRENT LIABILITIES





Short-term borrowings


$

99,100


$

20,000

Payable to Sears Holdings Corporation


68,396


79,491

Accounts payable


24,129


31,830

Other current liabilities


60,319


83,211

Current portion of capital lease obligations


662


1,463

Total current liabilities


252,606


215,995

CAPITAL LEASE OBLIGATIONS


95


769

OTHER LONG-TERM LIABILITIES


4,259


2,752

TOTAL LIABILITIES


256,960


219,516

STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY





Common stock: $.01 par value;


228


231

Authorized shares: 400,000





Issued shares: 22,753 and 23,100, respectively





Outstanding shares: 22,753 and 23,100, respectively





Capital in excess of par value


547,021


556,575

Retained earnings


42,976


9,481

TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY


590,225


566,287

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY


$

847,185


$

785,803

 

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc.

Segment Results

(Unaudited)

Preliminary and subject to change






Hometown


13 Weeks Ended vs 14 Weeks Ended


52 Weeks Ended vs 53 weeks Ended

Thousands, except for number of stores


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013

Net sales


$

449,611



$

486,046



$

1,811,519



$

1,889,263


Comparable store sales %


(4.0)

%


0.8

%


(3.2)

%


1.0

%

Cost of sales and occupancy


348,876



367,152



1,389,627



1,433,880


Gross margin


100,735



118,894



421,892



455,383


Margin rate


22.4

%


24.5

%


23.3

%


24.1

%

Selling and administrative


96,899



106,936



396,073



394,335


Selling and administrative expense as a percentage of net sales


21.6

%


22.0

%


21.9

%


20.9

%

Depreciation


3,950



1,235



6,321



3,658


Gain on the sale of assets









Total costs and expenses


449,725



475,323



1,792,021



1,831,873


Operating income


$

(114)



$

10,723



$

19,498



$

57,390


Total Hometown stores






1,117



1,118











Outlet











13 Weeks Ended vs 14 Weeks Ended


52 Weeks Ended vs 53 weeks Ended

Thousands, except for number of stores


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2013

Net sales


$

152,867



$

145,115



$

610,043



$

564,343


Comparable store sales %


(1.5)

%


(4.8)

%


1.2

%


(0.8)

%

Cost of sales and occupancy


113,575



107,708



453,791



406,327


Gross margin


39,292



37,407



156,252



158,016


Margin rate


25.7

%


25.8

%


25.6

%


28.0

%

Selling and administrative


29,917



29,433



110,557



110,065


Selling and administrative expense as a percentage of net sales


19.6

%


20.3

%


18.1

%


19.5

%

Depreciation


1,488



1,423



5,685



5,816


Gain on the sale of assets






(1,567)




Total costs and expenses


144,980



138,564



568,466



522,208


Operating income


$

7,887



$

6,551



$

41,577



$

42,135


Total Outlet stores






143



127


SOURCE Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc.

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In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.