AP News

PetSmart 4Q profit up 31 pct; outlook disappoints

PHOENIX (AP) — PetSmart Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter profit increased 31 percent, helped by an extra week of sales, but its forecast for this year disappointed investors.

Shares dropped nearly 9 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday.

The Phoenix-based pet store chain earned $134 million, or $1.24 per share, for the quarter that ended Feb. 3. That was up from $102 million, or 91 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before, and beat analysts' prediction by 2 cents.

Revenue rose 15 percent to $1.88 billion from $1.64 billion. The retailer got a boost from an extra week of sales in the more recent quarter and from shoppers making more purchases. Revenue in established stores, a key retail metric, rose 4.6 percent. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting total revenue to grow a bit more, to $1.89 billion.

PetSmart runs about 1,280 stores across North America, where it sells pet products as well as services such as training, grooming and boarding.

This year, PetSmart expects per-earnings to grow to between $3.76 and $3.92 from $3.55 in fiscal 2012. Analysts forecast stronger growth, to $3.97 per share.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $6.8 billion in the 53 weeks of fiscal 2012; the company predicts slower revenue growth of 2 to 4 percent this year, which has 52 weeks. Analysts are anticipating revenue of $7.1 billion for the year, which would be a 4 percent increase.

PetSmart also expects slower growth in revenue from established stores this year: 2 to 4 percent versus 6.3 percent in the year that just ended.

For the current quarter, PetSmart predicted earnings per share between 92 and 98 cents for its first quarter, bracketing analyst expectations.

Shares fell $5.90, or 8.9 percent, to $60.65 in after-hours trading. Its stock added 61 cents to close the day at $66.55, up nearly 19 percent over the past 12 months.

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