A Celebration of Jewelry and the Business Behind the Beauty
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Blue Nile Q4 Net Sales Up 21%
Blue Nile said Tuesday that net sales increased 21.2 percent to $136.1 million for the fourth quarter, led by a 30 percent increase in bridal jewelry sales. Operating income for the period, ended December 30, 2012, totaled $7.1 million, representing an operating margin of 5.2 percent of net sales. Net income totaled $4.9 million, or $0.39 per diluted share. Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA for the quarter totaled $9.1 million.
For the full year, the online diamond and fine jewelry retailer reported that net sales increased by 14.9 percent to $400 million. Operating income for the full year was $12.3 million, compared to $16.9 million in the prior year. Net income for the year was $8.4 million and earnings per diluted share totaled $0.63. Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA for 2012 was $20.6 million.
Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile president and CEO of the Seattle-based company, noted that non-engagement jewelry sales for the holidays did not meet expectations but growth for the fourth quarter was still greater than 5 percent.
Net cash provided by operating activities totaled $34.4 million for the year compared to $15.4 million for the prior year. Non-GAAP free cash flow for the year was $31.9 million compared to $10.1 million for the prior year.
In its outlook, Blue Nile said it expects net sales to be between $94 million and $100 million with earnings per diluted share projected at $0.05 to $0.08. For the 2013 fiscal it expects net sales to be between $440 million and $470 million and earnings per diluted share are projected at $0.75 to $0.85.
"The fourth quarter caps off a great year of growth at Blue Nile, building upon our sequential growth while posting greater profitability versus the prior year. Investments we made in 2012 paid off with the highest annual levels of revenue growth and customer acquisition in five years, exceptional strength in engagement sales in the U.S., and a return to strong growth internationally,” said Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile president and CEO. “While we fell short of our expected sales of non-engagement jewelry during the holiday season, in part due to a weaker environment for consumer discretionary spending, we gained valuable insight that will guide the evolution of our product mix. We believe that our strategy to accelerate this part of our business is on track."
The company also announced it has entered into an agreement with U.S. Bank National Association for borrowing under a $35 million revolving credit facility maturing in 2014.
Among the highlights:
* U.S. engagement net sales for the fourth quarter 2012 increased 31 percent to $73.6 million. U.S. engagement net sales for the full year 2012 increased 21.7 percent to $226.6 million.
* U.S. non-engagement net sales for the fourth quarter 2012 increased 5.3 percent to $42.5 million. U.S. non-engagement net sales for the full year 2012 increased 4.9 percent to $111 million.
* International net sales for the fourth quarter 2012 increased 26.8 percent to $20 million. International net sales for the full year 2012 increased 11.7 percent to $62.4 million. Excluding the impact from changes in foreign exchange rates, international net sales increased 12.6 percent for the fiscal year.
* Gross profit for the fourth quarter totaled $25.7 million. As a percent of net sales, gross profit was 18.8 percent compared to 20.7 percent for the fourth quarter of 2011. Gross profit for the year totaled $75.1 million.
New customers, which are defined as individuals who have not made a prior purchase from Blue Nile, grew 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. For the full year, new customers grew 17.6 percent compared to the full year of 2011.
* Selling, general and administrative expenses for the fourth quarter were $18.6 million, compared to $16.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Selling, general and administrative expenses for the full year were $62.8 million, compared to $55.2 million for the full year 2011.
* Earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter included stock-based compensation expense of $0.06 for the fourth quarter of 2012 and 2011.
* Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the fiscal year totaled $87 million, compared to $89.4 million at the end of the fiscal year 2011.
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I am a freelance writer and editor who has spent the past 10 years
traveling the world covering luxury jewelry, watches and luxury
lifestyles. I also write about food and travel. I work as a
correspondent for Forbes.com and JewelleryNetAsia. In addition, I have
my own blog covering the jewelry and watch industry, Jewelry News Network.