Shares of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) are surging today, up 11% as of 10:27 a.m. EDT, after the specialty retailer of high-quality home furnishing products announced strong fiscal first-quarter 2018 results.
Williams-Sonoma posted robust net revenue growth of 8.2%, powered by a 5.5% jump in comparable-brand revenue growth. Adjusted earnings per share checked in at $0.67, which was higher than analysts' estimates calling for $0.58 and well above the prior year's $0.51-per-share result. Williams-Sonoma's e-commerce success has always been at the core of investors' bull thesis, and it didn't disappoint this quarter: E-commerce net revenue grew 11.3% to account for 53.7% of total company net revenue.
"Our customer growth continued to trend positively for both new and existing customers, demonstrating the success of our balanced customer acquisition strategy," said Laura Alber, president and CEO, in a press release. "These results speak to the power of our established multi-channel model, distinctive brand portfolio and world-class customer service heritage -- all of which are our company's competitive strengths."
Another great sign from Williams-Sonoma's first quarter was that its merchandise inventory only increased 1.5%, which is significantly below its 8.2% net revenue growth, suggesting much more efficient and profitable inventory management and sell-through. Last, but not least, management raised full-year guidance for net revenue by $20 million and for EPS by $0.03.
All told, it was a strong first quarter that continues momentum from a solid end to 2017.