I'm afraid I see many trips to Claire's Stores
As the father of a two-year old daughter who already has a fascination with shoes and her mom's jewelry, it's only going to get worse from here. Claire's, for those who may not know, operates more than 3,000 stores, catering to teens and pre-teens with a huge selection of costume jewelry and other goodies. It competes in this market with the likes of Hot Topic
For the quarter, Claire's increased earnings by 25% to $86.5 million, or 35% to $0.93 on a per-diluted share basis. Sales climbed 14% higher to $472.3 million in the quarter. However, comps only managed a minuscule 1% gain after increasing 6% in last year's fourth quarter. Annual results at Claire's were also higher. Earnings grew 10% to $188.8 million and sales were up 8% to $1.48 billion. But, like the quarter, annual comps were up just 1%.
Claire's maintains a healthy cash balance despite its significant decrease from a year ago, which was largely due to its share buyback program. However, inventories have increased nearly 7% since last year.
Looking ahead, well, based on the terms of its sale, current Claire's shareholders will receive $33 per share of stock. Beyond that, there's not too much more to say about a company that's preparing to go private. With a selling price of $3.1 billion, it looks like the dad who started this company and handed it over to his daughters knew what little girls crave.
For more on the lead-up to the Claire's acquisition and other info, check out:
- Claire's New Look: Private Equity
- Claire's Stores Shops Itself
- Claire's Stores Struggles With the Low End
- Claire's Accessorizes: Fool by Numbers
Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies in this article.