PriceSmart (NASDAQ:PSMT) this evening posted results for its fiscal fourth quarter, and the warehouse retailer's headline numbers were no big surprise, Maybe that explains why the stock didn't move much in early after-hours trading.
Quarterly revenue improved to $623 million from $585 million a year ago. Wall Street had been expecting $621 million in Q4 revenue, so you can count that as a slight beat for PriceSmart.
Profit, meanwhile, came in a tad below estimates. Net income amounted to $0.73 a share, or a penny less than analysts were targeting. Membership income grew by 8%, which was a slight slowdown from the prior quarter's 9% rise.
The company's warehouse footprint ticked higher by two to reach 33 locations across 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The newest opening happened just a few days ago in Bogota, Colombia.
Digging a little deeper into the results, operating income barley budged this quarter, improving only slightly to $34 million. But that figure includes the negative impact of a ramp-up in pre-opening expenses, so investors should be pleased that PriceSmart managed to fund its slow-but-steady expansion strategy while still protecting profitability.
For the full fiscal year, PriceSmart managed a 9.5% revenue boost, and it now has trailing-12-month sales of $2.5 billion. By comparison, warehouse giant Costco booked a 7% increase for its fiscal year that just ended, albeit from a much, much larger sales base.
Investors will get tons of additional information regarding PriceSmart's fourth quarter throughout the day on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The company will file its 10-K annual report sometime during the day. And PriceSmart plans to hold a conference call discussing its results at noon ET. In that call, management should provide details on key trends such as comparable-store sales growth, which has been heading lower for nearly two straight years. Investors will want to hear what executives have to say on that topic. PriceSmart's renewal rate is another critical stat to keep an eye on. It remained a stellar 85% in Q3, and investors should be watching for steady improvement there.
Finally, currency issues, particularly in Costa Rica and Jamaica, hampered results in the prior quarter, so look for management to provide an update on that topic during the conference call as well.