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Why Five Below Inc. Stock Fell 10.5% Today

By Steve Symington - Sep 3, 2015 at 10:02AM

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11 a.m. ET: After a bigger drop earlier in the morning, the discount retailer was down 7% as of 11 a.m. after announcing mixed quarterly results and light guidance.

What's happening: Shares of Five Below (FIVE 4.75%) fell as much as 10.5% early Thursday after the discount retailer announced weaker-than-expected fiscal-second-quarter revenue and guidance. At 11 a.m., the stock was down about 7% from the previous close.

Quarterly revenue rose 19.5% year over year to $182.5 million, helped by comparable-store sales growth of 3%, and an 18.1% increase in the total number of stores from the year-ago period to 417. For perspective, that top-line figure is near the low end of Five Below's guidance range provided three months ago, which called for revenue of $182 million to $185 million, and a 4% to 5% increase in comparable-store sales.

Operating income simultaneously decreased 12.8% to $11.6 million, albeit driven primarily by an expected deleverage related to Five Below's new distribution center, investments in leadership, and a shift in marketing expenses. Based on generally accepted accounting principles, that translated to a 14.4% decline in net income to $7.1 million, or $0.13 per diluted share.

Analysts, on average, were anticipating the same earnings of $0.13 per share, but on higher revenue of $184.7 million.

Why it's happening: Five Below CEO Joel Anderson blamed two temporary items during the middle of the quarter, including the elimination of a summer circular, and temporary store receipt delays as the company moved out of its East Coast distribution center.

"These one-time factors are behind us," insisted Anderson, "and we believe we are well positioned from a merchandising, marketing and distribution standpoint to deliver on our plans for the second half of the year ..."

As a result, Five Below anticipates current-quarter revenue of $164 million to $167 million, assuming the opening of 16 net new locations and a 3% to 4% increase in comps. GAAP net income should be in the range of $3.3 million to $4.0 million, and net income per diluted share should be $0.06 to $0.07. Analysts were anticipating fiscal third-quarter revenue of $167.5 million, and earnings of $0.08 per share.

Finally, Five Below reiterated full-year guidance for revenue of $820 million to $828 million, based on 70 net new stores and a 3% increase in comps. GAAP net income should be $56.4 million to $58.2 million, with diluted net income per share of $1.03 to $1.06. Wall Street was more optimistic, with consensus estimates calling fiscal 2015 revenue near the high end of Five Below's expected range at $826.8 million, and earnings of $1.07 per share.

In the end, while Five Below's long-term story appears to remain firmly intact, it's no surprise the market is taking a step back today.

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