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Williams-Sonoma Profit to Top Forecasts

February 24, 2001|Bloomberg News

Williams-Sonoma Inc. said fourth-quarter earnings probably will top analyst expectations, sending its shares up as much as 15%. The operator of Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and Hold Everything stores said its management of markdowns and inventory contributed to strong growth during a difficult holiday season. For the fourth quarter, the most important profit period for retailers, the San Francisco-based company said it expects earnings of 78 to 79 cents a share, beating the First Call consensus estimate of 75 cents, with revenue also exceeding forecasts. Analysts had revised their expectations down from 92 cents last fall. Williams-Sonoma said earnings for the fiscal year probably will reach $1.18 a share, within the range of analyst estimates, even though it might post losses or break-even results for the first two quarters of 2001. It expects sales to exceed analyst predictions for the first and second quarters. Williams-Sonoma shares rose $3.40, or 10%, to close at $26.40 on the NYSE.

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