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Leibish & Co

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blue Nile Sets First Quarter Sales Record

Blue Nile, Inc. reported Thursday that net sales for the first quarter of 2011 increased 8.3 percent to $80.2 million, a first quarter record for the diamond and fine jewelry online retailer. Operating income for the quarter totaled $3.5 million. Net income totaled $2.4 million.

"We delivered record first quarter sales reflecting the strength of our consumer proposition and our relentless focus on perfecting the customer experience,” said Diane Irvine, Blue Nile CEO. “We remain focused on our key objective of building our business in the U.S. and internationally by investing in growth initiatives from product innovation and marketing to continued enhancement of the Blue Nile experience.”

First quarter financial highlights include:

* International sales grew 34.4 percent to $12.9 million, a record level for any first quarter in the company's history. Excluding the impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, international sales increased 28.1 percent.

* Gross profit for the quarter totaled $16.9 million, an increase of 7.1 percent. As a percent of net sales, gross profit was 21.1 percent compared to 21.3 percent for the first quarter of 2010.

* Selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter were $13.4 million, compared to $12.2 million in the first quarter of 2010. This figure includes stock-based compensation expense of $1.7 million, compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of the prior year.

The Seattle-based company in its guidance said it expects In its second quarter net sales to be between $82 and $85 million.

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