COMMERCE, Calif., March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Smart & Final Stores, Inc. (the "Company") (NYSE:SFS), the value-oriented food and everyday staples retailer, today reported financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended December 30, 2018.
Fourth Quarter Highlights:
- Net sales increased 3.2% to $1,102.4 million with a comparable store sales increase of 1.9%
- Gross margin increased 2.9% to $169.2 million
- Adjusted EBITDA of $41.5 million
- Net loss of $121.8 million or $1.66 per share, reflects non-cash valuation charges including goodwill impairment
- Adjusted net income of $6.0 million or $0.08 per share
"Our fiscal 2018 performance was solid, with 3.7% year-over-year sales growth, while facing an environment with low rates of product price inflation and rising operating costs that created significant headwinds to earnings growth. In the fourth quarter we delivered our seventh consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales, led by growth in both average transaction size and comparable transaction count, reflecting our unique assortment of business and club-pack items, our high-quality private label offerings, and convenient e-commerce options," said David Hirz, president and chief executive officer of the Company.
Mr. Hirz, continued, "In 2019 we will continue to aggressively expand online options for both our small business and household customers, by introducing new e-commerce channels and order fulfillment options. Our vision will offer even greater levels of value and convenience to our target customers, at attractive economics, to capitalize on the significant growth in e-commerce that we continue to experience."
In order to aid understanding of the Company's business performance, it has presented results in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP") and has also presented EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income, adjusted net income per share, and adjusted net income per diluted share, which are non-GAAP measures that are explained and reconciled to the comparable GAAP measures in the tables included in this release. Where applicable, the results below are first presented on a GAAP basis and then on a non-GAAP adjusted basis.
Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2018 Financial Results
Net sales were $1,102.4 million in the 12-week quarter ended December 30, 2018, representing a 3.2% increase as compared to $1,067.9 million for the same period of 2017. Net sales growth was driven by a 1.9% increase in comparable store sales and from the net sales contribution of new stores. Comparable store sales growth was comprised of a 1.7% increase in comparable average transaction size and a 0.2% increase in comparable transaction count.
Net sales for Smart & Final banner stores were $864.4 million, a 2.7% increase as compared to $841.4 million for the same period of 2017. Comparable store sales growth for the Smart & Final banner was 1.3% in the fourth quarter.
Net sales for Smart Foodservice Warehouse banner stores were $238.0 million, a 5.0% increase as compared to $226.6 million for the same period of 2017. Comparable store sales growth for the Smart Foodservice Warehouse banner was 4.3% in the fourth quarter.
Gross margin was $169.2 million, a 2.9% increase as compared to $164.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Gross margin rate was 15.3% as compared to 15.4% for the same period of 2017.
Operating and administrative expenses were $174.4 million, or $158.6 million excluding a store valuation impairment charge, a 7.8% increase as compared to $147.1 million for the same period of 2017. This increase was related to expenses associated with the effect of increased sales and higher wage rates, as well as new stores opened during the prior twelve months and their related support costs.
Interest expense in the fourth quarter was $10.7 million, a 23.0% increase as compared to $8.7 million in the prior year quarter, primarily driven by higher interest rates as well as interest expense related to accounting for build-to-suit store developments.
Net loss was $121.8 million, or $1.66 per diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $146.6 million, or $2.03 per diluted share, for the same period of 2017. These results include a goodwill impairment charge of $94.0 million related to the Company's Smart & Final banner, store impairment charges of $12.5 million and valuation charges related to deferred tax assets of $13.1 million on an after-tax basis. This compares to a goodwill impairment charge of $180.0 million in the same period of 2017.
Adjusted net income was $6.0 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, as compared to adjusted net income of $11.3 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, for the same period of 2017.
Adjusted EBITDA was $41.5 million as compared to $49.1 million for the same period of 2017.
Fiscal 2018 Financial Results
In the fifty-two weeks ended December 30, 2018, net sales were $4,741.8 million, an increase of 3.7% as compared to $4,570.6 million in 2017. Net sales growth was driven in part by the net sales contribution of new stores and a 1.2% increase in comparable store sales. The increase in comparable store sales was attributable to a 2.3% increase in comparable average transaction size, partially offset by a 1.1% decrease in comparable transaction count.
Net sales for Smart & Final banner stores were $3,672.2 million, an increase of 3.2% as compared to $3,557.7 million in 2017. Full year 2018 comparable store sales for the Smart & Final banner increased 0.5%.
Net sales for Smart Foodservice Warehouse banner stores were $1,069.6 million, a 5.6% increase as compared to $1,012.9 million in 2017. Full year 2018 comparable store sales for the Smart Foodservice Warehouse banner increased 3.6%.
Net loss was $112.2 million, which included non-cash impairment and valuation charges of $119.6 million on an after-tax basis. This compares to a net loss of $138.9 million, which included a goodwill impairment charge of $180.0 million, in 2017. In fiscal 2017, the results included a non-cash net benefit of $27.0 million, as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other one-time items, primarily due to a lower valuation of net deferred tax liabilities. Net loss per share was $1.54 in 2018, as compared to $1.92 for 2017.
Adjusted net income was $31.4 million, as compared to $33.7 million in 2017. Adjusted net income per diluted share was $0.42, compared to $0.45 per diluted share in 2017.
Adjusted EBITDA was $181.8 million, as compared to $184.4 million in 2017.
Impairment and Valuation Charges
In the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company conducted an annual assessment of its goodwill as required under accounting standard ASC 350 resulting in an impairment of the Smart & Final banner goodwill in the amount of $94.0 million. The Company also recorded impairment and other valuation charges of $25.6 million related to the recoverability of certain store fixed assets and deferred tax assets on an after-tax basis.
Growth and Development
During the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company opened one new Smart & Final Extra! store, relocated one legacy Smart & Final store to an Extra! format store and closed one legacy Smart & Final store whose lease was expiring. The Company also opened two new Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores during the fourth quarter. As of December 30, 2018, the Company operated a total of 326 stores, including 201 Smart & Final Extra! stores, 59 legacy format Smart & Final stores and 66 Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores.
Leverage and Liquidity
As of December 30, 2018, the Company's debt, net of debt issuance costs, was $648.3 million and cash and cash equivalents were $67.2 million.
During the fifty-two weeks ended December 30, 2018, the Company generated cash from operations of $141.2 million and invested $131.5 million in capital expenditures, primarily related to the improvement of existing assets and new stores.
As of December 30, 2018, the Company's outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facility were $30.0 million reflecting a reduction of $51.0 million for the fifty-two weeks ended December 30, 2018.
The Company is providing the following guidance for the full year ending December 29, 2019:
The above guidance includes certain non-GAAP financial measures (namely adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per diluted share), which exclude certain costs and non-cash costs and provide investors with additional financial measures of the expected operating performance of the Company's business. The primary factors in reconciling these non-GAAP financial measures to comparable GAAP measures include the following: pre-opening costs associated with new stores of approximately $2.6 million, non-cash rent related to stores of approximately $1.5 million, share-based compensation expense of approximately $12.7 million, and $4.8 million of store closure expenses. The other amounts needed to reconcile these non-GAAP financial measures to comparable GAAP measures cannot be quantified and are not available without an unreasonable effort.
Additionally, the Company is providing first quarter 2019 guidance for comparable store sales growth of 1.75% to 2.00% and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $25 to $28 million.
Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2018 Conference Call
The Company will host a conference call today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time / 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss its fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2018 financial results. To participate in the call, please dial (877) 407-0784 (U.S.) or (201) 689-8560 (International) ten minutes prior to the start time. The conference call can also be accessed on the "For Investors" section of the Company's web site at www.smartandfinal.com .
For those unable to participate during the live broadcast, a telephonic replay of the call will also be available beginning today at approximately 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, by dialing (844) 512-2921 (U.S.) or (412) 317-6671 (International) and entering the replay pin number: 13687752. The telephonic replay will be available until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, March 27, 2019.
About Smart & Final
Smart & Final Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SFS), is a value-oriented food and everyday staples retailer, headquartered in Commerce (near Los Angeles), California. The Company offers quality products in a variety of sizes, saving household, nonprofit and business customers time and money. As of December 30, 2018, the Company operated 326 grocery and foodservice stores under the "Smart & Final," "Smart & Final Extra!" and "Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores" banners in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Utah, with an additional 15 stores in Northwestern Mexico operated through a joint venture. In business for over 147 years, the Company remains committed to giving back to local communities through employee volunteer opportunities and Company donations to local nonprofits.
Certain statements contained in this release that are not historical information contain forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied. Further, certain forward-looking statements are based on assumptions of future events which may not prove to be accurate. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "may," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "could," "intends," "target," "projects," "contemplates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential" or "continue" or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology. The Company derives many of its forward-looking statements from its operating budgets and forecasts, which are based upon many detailed assumptions. While the Company believes that its assumptions are reasonable, it is difficult to predict the impact of known factors and, of course, it is impossible to anticipate all factors that could affect actual results. These factors are discussed in the special note concerning "Forward-Looking Statements," "Risk Factors," "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," and "Business" sections and elsewhere in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
You should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made by the Company herein, or elsewhere, speaks only as of the date on which made. New risks and uncertainties come up from time to time, and it is impossible for the Company to predict these events or how they may affect it. The Company has no obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date hereof, except as required by federal securities laws.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement the Company's financial information presented in accordance with GAAP, the Company uses certain non-GAAP financial measures (namely EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income, adjusted net income per share, and adjusted net income per diluted share) to evaluate our operating and financial performance and to compare such performance to that of prior periods. We also use these non-GAAP financial measures in making operational and financial decisions and in establishing operational goals. We believe that providing these non-GAAP financial measures to investors, as a supplement to GAAP financial measures, helps investors to (i) evaluate our operating and financial performance and future prospects, (ii) compare financial results across accounting periods, (iii) better understand the long-term performance of our core business and (iv) evaluate trends in our business, all consistent with how management evaluates such performance and movements. The Company defines EBITDA as net income before depreciation and amortization, interest expense and provision (benefit) for income tax, and adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA adjusted for the items set forth in the table below. The Company defines adjusted net income as net income (loss) adjusted for the items set forth in the table below. The Company defines adjusted net income per share as adjusted net income divided by the weighted average basic shares outstanding. The Company defines adjusted net income per diluted share as adjusted net income divided by the weighted average diluted shares outstanding.
Use of these non-GAAP measures may differ from similar measures reported by other companies. Each of these non-GAAP measures has its limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider them in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of the Company's results as reported under GAAP.
The following tables present reconciliations of net loss to EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income, and net loss per share to adjusted net income per share and adjusted net income per diluted share, for the twelve-week and fifty-two week periods ended December 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017.
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SOURCE Smart & Final Stores, Inc.