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Comps and debt grow at Container Store


The Container Store posted a better than expected profit performance during its first quarter as a public company but offered a full year outlook analysts found underwhelming.

Container Store chairman and CEO Kip Tindell said the company was pleased with its operating results for the third quarter ended November 30. Sales increased 7.3% to $188 million thanks to a 4.7% same store sales increase and the addition of six new stores during the current fiscal year. It was the fourteenth consecutive quarter of comp growth for the operator of 63 stores. The company also posted adjusted earnings per share of 11 cents, three cents better than analysts forecast.

“These results demonstrate the strength of our differentiated business model, brand awareness, unique employee-first culture and solid execution by the entire team at The Container Store,” Tindall said. “With 63 stores today, we have a long runway of growth ahead of us as we expand our store base to realize the 300 plus store opportunity that we believe exists.”

The company, laden with debt of $368 million following its late October 2013 stock offering, said its operating activities during the quarter generated $10.2 million in cash. It ended the quarter with $10.8 million in cash and $68.1 million available on its revolving credit facilities.

For the full year, the company expects sales total $754 million and same store sales to increase 3.4%. Profits on an adjusted basis are expected to total 40 cents a share.

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