Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN), a leading lifestyle specialty retail company, posted its fiscal fourth quarter profit on Monday, which missed market estimates for the first time in two years.
For the three months ended January 31, the retailer’s profit fell 3 percent because discounts and higher shipping costs snip margins. Its net income fell to $ 75.2 million, or 45 cents per share. Earnings per diluted share were $ 0.45 for the period and $ 1.60 for the year.
Gross margin dropped to 39.7% from 41.7% in the same quarter last year. The decrease was primarily due to increased merchandise markdowns.
Expenses for sales rose 18 percent to $ 403.3 million. Selling, general, and administrative expenses rose 14 percent to $ 144.7 million. The rising expenses hurt the company’s profit.
Net sales increased 14% to $ 668.39 million from $ 588.49 a year earlier. For the full year, net sales rose 17% to $ 2.27 billion from $ 1.94 billion the prior year.
Shares of Urban Outfitters closed Monday down 1.32% to $ 37.99.
According to Margaret Whitfield, senior research analyst for Sterne Agee, the harsh winter could result in its weak performance.
The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based company saw increase in sales in all of its brands. It operates lifestyle specialty retail stores under the Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropologie, and Terrain brands. Its namesake sales gained 13 percent to $ 321.8 million, Free People and Anthropolgie sales rose 35 percent and 10 percent to $ 58.9 million and $ 283.4 million in turn.
The company’s retail stores, direct-to-consumer sales, and wholesale segment saw gains.
Urban Outfitters operates over 140 locations in the United States, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Outfitters stores offer both women and men fashion apparel, accessories, and footwear. The retailer also offers products directly to consumers through its e-commerce websites. As of January 31, 2010, the lifestyle specialty retailer operated 155 Urban Outfitters stores, 34 Free People stores, 137 Anthropologie stores, and 1 Terrain garden center in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
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