Kitchen 'Jewelry' Boosts Profits: Williams-Sonoma CEO
Producer, CNBC's "Squawk Box"
A "strong holiday lineup" of new products propelled Williams-Sonoma to better-than-expected quarterly earnings, CEO Laura Alber told CNBC on Wednesday.
The home goods retailer—behind its namesake brand as well as Pottery Barn and West Elm—earned $1.34 per share for the fourth quarter, 5 cents above Wall Street estimates. Revenue of $1.41 billion also beat expectations on the back of strong online sales and a reduction in discounting.
Williams-Sonoma also said it is increasing its quarterly cash dividend by 41 percent to 31 cents per share.
"We are lucky that we have multiple brands across a wide range of demographics and aesthetics." Alber told "Squawk Box."
"West Elm, we know has clear runway for growth," she said. "We are developing our online business at West Elm and also our store formats."
"Pottery Barn is obviously our largest brand and its extensions, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen," she added. "We are expanding and introducing our Pottery Barn Dorm assortment, which we think is a great opportunity."
Williams-Sonoma forecast earnings of between 33 and 36 cents per share in the first quarter on revenue between $850 million and $870 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 39 cents per share on revenue of $866.6 million.
Williams-Sonoma expects to earn $2.65 to $2.75 per share for the year on revenue between $4.2 billion and $4.28 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to earn $2.82 per share on revenue of $4.23 billion.
Regarding the American consumer, Alber said, "For the past 18 months, [they're] looking for great design, they look for high quality, and they want a value. They're prudent with their shopping. So they have a lot of choices and they're going to choose those retailers who have newness and innovation and who deliver on their promise."
At the Williams-Sonoma brand, she said they're selling lots of equipment and accessories for making smoothies and fresh juice—capitalizing on "the trend to healthy lifestyles."
"People [also] like cooking at home and knowing where their food is from. We have our Williams-Sonoma cookware—Thermo-Clad, my favorite. … It heats up 20 percent faster. And the pan is gorgeous. Beautiful branding. It's like jewelry for your kitchen. Functional and beautiful."