- Total sales increased 10.0% for first quarter
- Comparable store sales increased 4.1% for the quarter; 6 consecutive quarters of positive growth
- Diluted earnings per share of $0.28
GREENSBORO, N.C., June 2, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Fresh Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:TFM), a high-growth specialty retailer, today announced sales and earnings results for its fiscal first quarter ended May 1, 2011. For the first quarter of fiscal 2011, net sales increased 10.0% to $264.5 million and comparable store sales increased 4.1%, compared to the corresponding period in 2010. Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $13.5 million, compared to pro forma net income of $12.2 million for the corresponding period in 2010. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $0.28, compared to pro forma diluted earnings per share of $0.26 for the corresponding period in 2010. Several items described under "Items Impacting Comparability" (below) impact the comparability of quarterly earnings per share and should be reviewed by investors in order to assess the Company's ongoing operations on a comparable basis.
"We continue to be pleased with our business performance, particularly our ability to deliver strong earnings growth on top of a robust first quarter last year," said Craig Carlock, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are encouraged by the fact that our business continued to expand and performed consistently and steadily in the first quarter, and we remain confident in our EPS guidance of $1.01 to $1.05 for the year. Additionally, our new store pipeline is being filled with terrific sites and we are on track for opening 12 to 14 new stores by the end of the fiscal year. We continue to believe that a long term unit growth rate of 15% annually is achievable and appropriate for our business."
Items Impacting Comparability
To provide investors with information to assist them in assessing the Company's ongoing operations on a comparable basis, the Company is providing additional financial information. This additional information should be evaluated in addition to, and not as a substitution for, information provided in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (GAAP).
The Company's recently completed public offering of common stock impacted the comparability of the first quarter of fiscal 2011 to the corresponding period in 2010. Transaction expenses related to the offering are included in selling, general and administrative expense and totaled approximately $1.1 million, resulting in an after-tax reduction in earnings per share of approximately $0.02 per share on a diluted basis. The costs associated with the offering included legal, printing, accounting and filing fees and expenses as well as other charges directly related to the offering.
Additionally, the Company terminated its S-corporation status and converted to a C-corporation for income tax purposes in connection with its initial public offering in November 2010. As a result, the first quarter of fiscal 2011 income tax provision reflects entity-level state and federal taxes, while the corresponding provision in 2010 only reflects state taxes owed by the Company in certain states that the Company operated. Therefore, pro forma income taxes and pro forma earnings per share data have been provided on the face of the financial statements that are attached to this press release.
Lastly, the Company changed its fiscal year from a fiscal year ended December 31 to a fiscal year ended on the last Sunday of January, which commenced with fiscal 2011. As a result of this change, the Company has recast its first quarter of 2010 so that it corresponds to the same 91-day period in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
The Company had strong sales growth and significantly improved year-over-year comparable operating margin performance, which resulted from its continued focus on key perishable departments and from profitably growing the business through new stores. Total net sales increased 10.0% to $264.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to $240.5 million for the corresponding period in 2010. Comparable store sales increased 4.1% to $245.4 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to $235.7 million for the corresponding period in 2010. The comparable store sales increase resulted from a 1.7% increase in the number of transactions and a 2.4% increase in average transaction size.
The Company's gross profit increased 11.5%, or $9.3 million, to $89.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to $80.3 million for the corresponding period in 2010. This increase was attributable to increased sales and an increase in the gross margin rate. The gross margin rate increased 50 basis points to 33.9% for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to 33.4% for the corresponding period in 2010. The increase in the Company's gross margin rate was primarily attributable to reduced merchandise shrinkage and lower supply costs as a percentage of sales.
Selling, general, and administrative expenses increased 13.7% to $59.0 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to $51.9 million for the corresponding period in 2010. Selling, general, and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales increased 70 basis points to 22.3% for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to 21.6% for the corresponding period in 2010. This increase resulted primarily from the transaction expenses incurred in connection with the Company's public offering of common stock during the first quarter of fiscal 2011 of approximately $1.1 million, which had an impact of approximately 40 basis points as a percentage of sales. The remaining increase was due to higher corporate expenses, primarily attributable to nearly $645,000, or approximately 25 basis points as a percentage of sales, of incremental public company costs for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to the corresponding period in 2010, which was partially offset by an improvement in store-level labor expense as a percentage of sales.
Operating income increased 7.7% to $22.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to $20.5 million for the corresponding period in 2010. As a percentage of sales, operating income decreased by 10 basis points to 8.4% for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to 8.5% for the corresponding period in 2010. The primary driver of the decrease in operating margin was the 40 basis point impact related to transaction expenses incurred in connection with the Company's public offering of common stock.
Balance Sheet/Cash Flow
During the first quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company generated $31.6 million in cash flow from operations and invested $13.0 million in capital expenditures, of which $10.2 million related to new, relocated and remodeled stores.
The Company's cash balance at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was approximately $9.7 million, an increase of $6.0 million compared to the cash balance as of December 31, 2010 and an increase of $1.8 million compared to January 30, 2011. The increases were primarily attributable to cash generated from operations. Total debt at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $66.0 million, down $31.4 million from a balance of $97.4 million at December 31, 2010 and down $15.9 million from a balance of $81.9 million at January 30, 2011.
Average inventory on a FIFO basis per store at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 6.7%, compared to the corresponding period in 2010. The increase resulted primarily from increases in Gift Center and Bulk and the expansion of our Health and Beauty department in additional stores, which were offset by modest decreases in Beer/Wine and Candy.
On a trailing four quarter basis, giving effect to the recast of fiscal quarters in connection with the Company's change in its fiscal year-end and adjusted to exclude IPO-related charges arising during November 2010 and to include a pro forma provision for corporate income taxes, the Company's Return on Assets was 16.9%, Return on Invested Capital, excluding excess cash, was 24.5%, and Return on Equity was 49.2%. These financial return measures and certain of their components are non-GAAP financial measures. The schedules attached to this press release include a discussion of these non-GAAP measures and the components thereof, as well as the details of our calculations of these financial return measures.
Growth and Development
During the first quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company opened one new store in Peachtree City, Georgia, representing our 11th store in the state of Georgia. The Company currently has 101 stores totaling approximately 2.1 million square feet and anticipates opening 12 to 14 new stores during fiscal 2011.
The Company recently purchased land for a new store in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and signed four leases for new stores in: Aiken, SC; Chestnut Hill, PA; Crystal Lake, IL; and Stuart, FL. The Company also recently signed a new lease for the relocation of its existing Montgomery, AL store. These stores are currently scheduled to open during or after fiscal 2011.
The following table provides additional information about the Company's real estate and store opening activities in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and leases currently signed for stores scheduled to open during or after the remainder of fiscal 2011.
Fiscal 2011 Outlook
For fiscal 2011, management expects:
- 12 to 14 new store openings; many of which are expected to open late in fiscal 2011
- 2 store relocations and 2 store remodels
- Approximately $85 million to $90 million in capital expenditures
- Comparable store sales increase of 4% to 5%
- Operating margin, as a percentage of sales, to improve 20 to 50 basis points over the prior year's 7.2% adjusted operating margin as discussed in the Company's 2010 10-K filing.
- Diluted earnings per share of $1.01 to $1.05
2011 First Quarter Earnings Conference Call
The Company will host a conference call today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer, Craig Carlock and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Lisa Klinger. During the conference call, the Company may answer questions concerning business and financial developments and trends and other business and financial matters. The Company's responses to these questions, as well as other matters discussed during the conference call, may contain or constitute information that has not been previously disclosed.
Those who wish to participate in the call may do so by dialing (877) 852-2928. Any interested party will also have the opportunity to access the call via the Internet at . To listen to the live call via our website, please go to the website at least fifteen minutes early to register and download any necessary audio software. For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a recording will be available for 30 days after the date of the event. Recordings may be accessed at .
About The Fresh Market, Inc.
Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market, Inc. is a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service. As of June 2, 2011, the company operates 101 stores in 20 states, located in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. For more information, please visit www.thefreshmarket.com.
Forward Looking Statements: This document contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Any statements contained herein (including, but not limited to, statements to the effect that The Fresh Market or its management "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "expects," "believes," and other similar expressions) that are not statements of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements. The following are some of the factors that could cause or contribute actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements: accounting entries and adjustments at the close of our fiscal quarter; unexpected expenses and risks associated with our business; our ability to remain competitive in the areas of merchandise quality, price, breadth of selection, customer service and convenience; the effective management of our merchandise buying and inventory levels; our ability to anticipate and/or react to changes in customer demand; changes in consumer confidence and spending; unexpected consumer responses to promotional programs; unusual, unpredictable and/or severe weather conditions including their effect on our supply chain and our store operations; the effectiveness of our logistics and supply chain model, including the ability of our third-party logistics providers to meet our product demands and restocking needs on a cost competitive basis; the execution and management of our store growth and the availability of acceptable real estate locations for new store openings; the actions of third parties involved in our store growth activities, including property owners, landlords, property managers, those involved in the construction of our new store locations and current tenants who occupy one or more of our proposed new store locations, all of whom may be impacted by their financial condition, their lenders, their activities outside of those focused on our new store growth and other tenants, customers and business partners of theirs; global economies and credit and financial markets; our ability to maintain the security of electronic and other confidential information; serious disruptions and catastrophic events; competition; personnel recruitment and retention; acquisitions and divestitures including the ability to integrate successfully any such acquisitions; information systems and technology; commodity, energy and fuel cost increases; compliance with laws, regulations and orders; changes in laws and regulations; outcomes of litigation and proceedings; tax matters and other factors as set forth from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. We intend these forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time of this release and do not undertake to update or revise them as more information becomes available.
This press release, and access to our earnings call, is also available in the Investor Relations portion of The Fresh Market, Inc. website ().
CONTACT: Lisa K. Klinger EVP-Chief Financial Officer (336) 217-4070 firstname.lastname@example.org