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Williams-Sonoma Celebrates Holiday Comp Gains

For the nine-week holiday period stretching from October 29 to December 30, 2012, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. said net revenues increased 4.8% to $1.01 billion versus the comparable 2011 holiday period ended January 1, 2012. Comparable brand revenues, Williams-Sonoma’s take on comparable store sales, increased 4.4%, the company announced.

“Our holiday performance reflects the strength of our brands in a period of consumer uncertainty and intense promotional activity across the retail industry,” said Laura Alber, Williams-Sonoma president and CEO, in comments on the results. “As our overall financial performance was within our range of expectations for the holiday period, we are reiterating the financial guidance we provided for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 in our November 14, 2012 earnings release.”

In that statement, Alber said, “We are raising our fiscal year outlook by 1 cent to a non-GAAP earnings per share range of $2.45 to $2.52 due to our strong results throughout the year.”

Guidance for the fourth quarter was for GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.21 to $1.28.

In fiscal 2013, Alber added, “We will continue to focus on our strategies to drive sustainable, profitable growth and increase shareholder value by growing our existing brands, developing new businesses, and expanding globally, including the opening of our first Australian stores.”

Wedbush Morgan analyst Joan Storms, in a research note, pointed out that Williams-Sonoma fourth quarter comps came in above company guidance for 2% to 4% gains and above her own holiday-season forecast of 3%.

She added, “We are encouraged that the company was able to successfully execute its business despite heightened consumer uncertainty and greater promotional activity among its competitors.”