So what: Quarterly revenue rose 1.2% year over year to $195.5 million, driven by a combination of new store openings and a modest 0.1% increase in comparable-store sales. That includes a 2.7% increase in net sales from The Container Store's retail business to $179.5 million. To be fair, though, Container Store's consolidated revenue would have climbed 3.1% had it not been for the negative effect of converting Elfa International AB third-party sales -- which rose 7.2% year over year excluding currencies -- from Swedish krona to U.S. dollars.
Net income dropped 61.6% over the same period to $2.7 million, and fell 57.1% on a per-share basis to $0.06. The latter figure includes a negative $0.02-per-share adjustment related to planned spending on key strategic initiatives.
Meanwhile, analysts' consensus estimates called for higher revenue of $197.7 million, and earnings of $0.07 per share.
Nonetheless, The Container Store CEO Kip Tindell noted the company's sales performance exceeded its own expectations, thanks to "even more strategic customer engagement and service initiatives, coupled with the 'snowballing effect' of our major initiatives." Tindell elaborated, "I am proud of the solid execution across our entire organization during the ongoing rollout of our major strategic initiatives, including TCS Closets and Contained Home."
Now what: Going forward, The Container Store remains on track to achieve its goal of 12% square footage growth by opening 10 new locations this fiscal year. Two stores were opened in the most recent quarter, and one store was relocated to bring TCS' total to 73 locations.
For fiscal 2015, The Container Store reiterated guidance for both net sales of $800 million to $815 million, and net income per diluted share of $0.30 to $0.38. At the same time, the company raised the bottom end of its previous outlook for comparable-store sales growth by one percentage point, resulting in a new range of -1% to 0%. Analysts, on average, were anticipating roughly the same earnings, but on sales slightly above the midpoint of TCS' expected range at $809.9 million.
In the end, today's stock drop might seem surprising considering The Container Store's performance wasn't that far off the mark. But the stock isn't exactly cheap trading around 30 times trailing-12-month earnings and 29 times next year's estimates. And it's evident the company has plenty of work to do if it hopes to regain its former glory and win back the affections of investors. Given that premium and this underwhelming report, it's no surprise shares are pulling back hard today.
Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends The Container Store Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.