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What: Shares of Container Store Group Inc. (NYSE: TCS ) were getting suffocated today, falling as much as 12% and finishing down 4.6% after releasing a disappointing earnings report last night.
So what: The retailer of storage and organizational products missed estimates on both the top and bottom lines as bad weather weighed on its results for the quarter ended March 1. Sales rose 5.6% on an even calendar basis to $216.8 million, against expectations of $221.4 million, while its adjusted profit fell from $0.25 to $0.22 per share, below estimates of $0.27 per share. Comparable sales were up 1.4%, and CEO Kip Tindell said that stores that weren't affected by severe weather showed strong comparable sales growth.
Now what: Tindell also noted that new stores were contributing a record level of profitability, and the company has seen particular promise from stores in mid-sized markets, where real estate costs are significantly cheaper than in bigger metropolitan areas. The Container Store plans to grow its store base by as much as 12% this year, which should ensure solid growth in revenue. Retailers across the board complained about the severe weather this winter, so it doesn't seem odd for that to have dented Container Store's sales in the past quarter. Still, for the current year, EPS expectations of $0.56-$0.61 were a bit behind the consensus at $0.63, while management sees modest comparable sales increase of 3%-4%.