Dividend up for Havertys even as Q1 sales slip

ATLANTA — While sales were down compared to a year ago, Top 100 retailer Havertys announced an increase to its quarterly dividend as it reported its operating results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2024.

For the three months ended March 31, the Atlanta-based retailer totaled $184 million in sales, down 18.1% compared with $224.8 million in the first quarter of 2023. Net income totaled $2.4 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, an 80.65% decline from $12.4 million in net income a year ago, or 74 cents per diluted share.

Havertys’ EBITDA totaled $6.6 million in the quarter, giving it an EBITDA margin of 3.59%.

The company noted that comp-store sales were down 18.5% for the quarter while total written sales slipped 12.6% with a 13% decline in comp-store sales. However, gross profit margins increased to 60.3% from 59.1% in the same period last year.

“Our sales reflect the challenges from the ongoing weak housing market. The decline in demand requires exceptional customer engagement and operational flexibility,” said Clarence Smith, chairman and CEO. “We began highlighting our regret-free guarantee early in 2024 and continued promoting our free-in home design service which grew 10.4% in the first quarter compared to last year and was 32.3% of our total written business. Our teams generated another quarter of excellent gross margins of 60.3%, and the prudent reductions in operating costs generated positive results for the quarter.

Smith said Havertys sees growth potential on the horizon, and the company’s planned capital expenditures for the full year of 2024 are approximately $32.0 million. Havertys expects retail square footage will increase approximately 3.4% in 2024 over 2023.

“We are investing capital to expand our business and are on track to open five new stores this year and five in 2025. Our new store located in Southaven, Miss., in the Memphis, Tenn. market opened at the end of March,” he said. “The three stores we previously announced are in-fill opportunities in growing areas of Florida and should open in the second and third quarter this year. We plan to enter the Houston market later this year with one store slated to open in the fourth quarter and additional locations in early 2025. This is a sizeable new market within our distribution footprint that we believe aligns well with the Havertys brand.”

Smith said the company’s decision to boost the dividend speaks to optimism. The board of directors declared a 6.7% increase in the quarterly dividend, from 30 cents per share to 32 cents per share on the company’s common stock. The quarterly dividend for the company’s Class A common stock is also being increased from 28 cents to 30 cents per share.

“We are making important investments in our stores and online presence to be well-positioned to gain additional market share at the reversal of this near-term demand cycle,” Smith said. “The board’s decision to increase the quarterly dividend reflects our strong financial position and long-term outlook as we invest in our business and return capital to our stockholders.”

See also:

  • Fuel CEO nominated for seat on Havertys’ board
  • Staying power: How Havertys positioned itself for decades of success

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