Zumiez, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Nov 30, 2017 • 05:00 pm ET
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Zumiez, Inc. Third Quarter Fiscal 2017 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will conduct a question and answer session towards the end of this conference.
(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)
At this time, I will turn the call over to Rick Brooks, CEO. Please go ahead, sir.
Richard M. Brooks
Thank you, and welcome, everyone. Joining me on today's call is Chris Work, our CFO. I'll start today's call with a few brief remarks regarding our third quarter performance. I'll then give an update on our broader strategy and will hand the call over to Chris, who'll take you through the numbers. After that, we'll open the call to your questions.
Our third quarter sale results came in ahead of expectations during the important back-to-school season. Third quarter comparable sales rose 7.9% versus our original guidance of up 4% to 6%. This comes on top of a 4% increase a year ago and marks our fifth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales and transaction gains. We're extremely pleased with the strength of our business in a difficult regional environment as it validates our ability to serve the customer through the efforts of our collective teams.
Our momentum continued in November as comparable sales increased 7.8% for the month, representing a great start to the holiday season. With third quarter earnings growth of 11.5% and a strong start to the fourth quarter, we are well positioned to deliver an annual improvement in year-over-year profitability.
Our results underscore our ability to provide customers with authentic and differentiated product assortments that appeal to their individual tastes across multiple lifestyle categories and deliver great shopping experience regardless of where and when they choose to engage with us.
Providing the customer with a great shopping experience has always been our mission. Our sustained success is the result of our ability to adapt to the rapid changes in consumer preferences and purchasing behavior. Trends emerge and spread much faster in our more connected world, and customers expect to be able to experience brands on a much more frequent and more personalized level. We have continued to separate ourselves from the competition by constructing a lifestyle retailer with our unique culture and brand at the center to build -- to meet the increasing demands of today's consumer, while maintaining the flexibility to continually adapt to future marketplace changes. We are confident then the investments we have made and will continue to make in key areas, including working with original brands; planning and allocation; logistics; enhancing our sales channel; and most importantly, our people, will further strengthen our competitive advantages and support long-term profitable growth.
Let me provide an update on certain key initiatives. We continue to find new and unique brands across all departments to round our product assortments. This year, we've already launched over 100 new brands, bringing the newness and localized fashion that our customer is looking for. These emerging brands, coupled with the