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Vera Bradley Beats Q3 Estimates, Posts Weak Guidance

Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA) posted positive third quarter results, but its fourth quarter expectations may leave a lot to be desired.

The company reported a Q3 EPS of $0.37 versus the Street estimate of $0.33.

While this proved to be better than what Wall Street had feared, the company's earnings per share were still down 16 percent from the year-ago period.

Revenue came in at $130.1 million versus the Street estimate of $129.34 million. Sales were down six percent year-over-year.

"While third quarter sales and earnings results were in line with our expectations, based on recent trends we are lowering our fourth quarter outlook," Robert Wallstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley, said in a company release. "Although we face a persistently challenging retail environment, we are working diligently to make improvements in our organization that will enable us to stabilize the business and generate more consistent sales and earnings growth over the long term."

Wallstrom said that after joining Vera Bradley he has grown to "more fully appreciate" the company's rich history as an "authentic American brand with a highly loyal customer following."

The firm may have a loyal customer following, but some consumers have questioned Vera Bradley's authenticity. Like most companies, its products are no longer produced in the United States.

"I see tremendous opportunity to broaden our customer base, enter new markets, and expand the product offering," Wallstrom added. "Over the next several months I will be evaluating several areas of the business, focusing on the product assortment and the indirect and direct distribution channels, including e-commerce, in order to develop a strategic plan that will drive improved financial performance and increase long-term shareholder value."

Vera Bradley expects it fourth quarter EPS to be between $0.44 and $0.47 -- a bit lower than Wall Street's estimate of $0.56.

The company has also lowered its FY2013 EPS guidance from $1.47 - $1.52 to $1.41 - $1.44 versus the Street estimate of $1.50.

Vera Bradley's FY2013 sales guidance has been lowered as well, dropping from $535 million - $540 million to $523 million - $528 million versus the Street estimate of $537 million.

Shares of Vera Bradley were halted before the market close. The stock will resume trading at 4:35 p.m. EST today.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Robert Wallstrom Vera BradleyEarnings News


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