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Restoration Hardware Looking Up

Coming off a third quarter during which it beat analysts' expectations, Restoration Hardware is "encouraged" by its early holiday trends and expects comp increases during the fourth quarter.

During its conference call with analysts last week, retail executives forecast a comp-store increase in the high single digits for its stores and revenue increases in its direct-to-customer division of 50% to 60%.

Net loss per share for the quarter ended Oct. 28 widened to 15 cents from a loss of 11 cents in last year's period. That included a non-cash charge of 2 cents per share related to expensing stock options. Last year's results also include a tax benefit of 8 cents per share.

Quarterly sales rose 22% to $157.1 million, with comps up 3.9%. Sales were boosted by the launch of two new catalogs: the Brocade "fashion brand" and Restoration Hardware Gifts. Sales from eight outlet stores and higher transaction rates at retail also added to revenues.

During the first quarter of next year, the company will launch another new book: Restoration Hardware Bed & Bath. "We believe this important expansion will position Restoration Hardware as the authority in these strategically important classifications," said Gary Friedman, chairman, president and ceo.

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