I'll admit it. The few times I've been inside an arts and crafts store (at the cajoling of my wife), I've felt disoriented and confused. Everything becomes a weird kind of blur. That's not a knock against the stores. It's simply a matter of my uncreative mind being unable to comprehend how all the ribbons, faux flowers, and glue sticks can be magically transformed into some beautiful creation. However, there are many people who have the talent to do just that. That explains the success of Michaels
For the first quarter, A.C. Moore reported earnings of $1.25 million, or $0.06 per share. That's essentially unchanged from last year's first-quarter earnings of $1.23 million, or $0.06 per share, but that's mainly attributed to the addition of new stores whose sales numbers are not on par with established locations (as seen in higher selling, general, and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue). The company would prefer that you focus on its sales, which grew 10.2% to $122.9 million. Along those lines, would you disregard the 1.6% drop in comps, or same-store sales, please?
Despite the lack of earnings growth and the decrease in comps, A.C. Moore maintains its full-year earnings outlook of $1.06 to $1.09 per share. That would be a nice increase of 26.2% to 29.8% over the $0.84 per share it earned in 2004. It also implies that the company expects to improve significantly on its start of $0.06 per share. If previous years are any indication, it can expect the vast majority of its earnings to occur in the fourth quarter.
Assuming its expected earnings growth, the company has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 27.2 to 28. That's a bit high, but if it can achieve its growth goals, it's not outrageous. The arts and crafts business appears to be going strong, and I see no indications of that trend changing: A lot of people like crafts and the idea of various cutesy bits adorning their homes. Despite the somewhat expensive price tag, I think A.C. Moore is a solid company that's well-positioned for continued growth.
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Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies in this article.