Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/06/2013

Operator: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to PetSmart's Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2012 Analyst Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct the question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to introduce your host for today's conference Ms. April Lenhard, Director of Investor Relations.

April Lenhard - IR: Good afternoon and welcome to PetSmart's conference call to announce our results for the fourth quarter and for all of fiscal 2012. With me on the call today are Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Moran; President and Chief Operating Officer, David Lenhardt; as well as Chip Molloy, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Bob will kick off the call with an overview of our results and then Chip will take you through the financial review, as well as our earnings guidance. David will review the operations of the business and provide insights into our upcoming year and finally, we'll take your questions.

Please keep in mind, everything we cover during today's call, including the question-and-answer session, is subject to the Safe Harbor statement for forward-looking information you'll find in today's news release.

Thanks and I'll now turn the call over to Bob.

Robert F. Moran - Chairman and CEO: Thanks, April, and good afternoon, everyone. We're pleased to report another quarter of solid earnings growth. As a reminder, fiscal year 2012 was a 53-week year. The fourth quarter and the year included an extra week. For the fourth quarter, earnings per share were $1.24, up 36% when compared to $0.91 for the fourth quarter last year. Comparable store sales or sales in stores open at least a year, grew 4.6% and comp transactions, which we use as a proxy for traffic, were up 1.2%.

Our performance in the fourth quarter was solid across all three merchandising categories; consumables, hardgoods and live goods, as well as across services. As the industry leader, we continue to evolve the customer experience for our pet parents by providing highly differentiated services including professional grooming, training, boarding and day camp and full-service veterinary care all under one roof, as well as a full assortment of solutions for the lifetime needs of pets.

We are privileged to have the most passionate associates in the industry who engage with our pet parent customers to offer solutions throughout all the pet's life stages, empowering them to help their pets live long, healthy and happy lives. Our unique portfolio of solutions centered around her merchandising and service offerings is further strengthened by our culture of innovation and differentiation and truly sets us apart from the competition.

Through our partnership with PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in all of North America, we are proud that nearly 1,100 homeless pets are saved each day in our stores, and thanks to the strong vendor support from partners like Nestle Pro Plan, with the national adoption event weekends, like the one held last month, where the lives of nearly 18,000 pets were saved, we can continue to make a real impact, because when you adopt, you not only save a pets life, you enrich your own.

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