Williams-Sonoma Inc WSM
Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/15/2011

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2010 Earnings and Fiscal Year 2011 Guidance Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will conduct a question-and-answer session after the presentation. This conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to Steve Nelson, Director of Investor Relations, to discuss the non-GAAP measures and forward-looking statements.

Stephen C. Nelson - Director, IR: Good morning. This morning's conference call should be considered in conjunction with the press releases that we issued earlier today. Our press release in this call contains non-GAAP financial measures that exclude the impact of unusual business events. These non-GAAP financial measures are provided to facilitate meaningful year-over-year comparisons, a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures, and an explanation of why these non-GAAP financial measures are useful are discussed in Exhibit 1 of the press release.

The forward-looking statements included in this morning's call constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements address the financial condition, results of operations, business initiatives, guidance, growth plans, and prospects of the Company in 2011 and beyond, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements.

Please refer to the Company's current press releases and SEC filings for more information on these risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this call.

I will now turn the conference call over to Laura Alber, our President and Chief Executive Officer to discuss our fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010 results and our outlook for 2011.

Laura J. Alber - President and CEO: Good morning, and thank you for joining us. With me today are Sharon McCollam, our Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer and Pat Connolly, our Chief Marketing Officer.

Fiscal 2010 was the year of record performance for our Company. Each of our brands ended the year stronger than it began and aggressive and proactive initiatives across the organization led to new milestones and profitability. We are particularly pleased with the progress we made in merchandising, marketing, customer acquisition and customer service, as it was these initiatives that allowed us to attract new customers to our brands and gain market share all year.

In the fourth quarter, our results once again significantly exceeded expectations as net revenues increased 10% and diluted earnings per share increased 26% to $1.08 per share. We ended the quarter with over $600 million in cash after returning nearly $185 million to our shareholders over the past 12 months and today, announced a 13% increase in our quarterly dividend on top of the $125 million share repurchase program that we announced in February.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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