Five Below, Inc. (NASDAQ:FIVE) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Dec 06, 2018 • 07:00 am ET
Good morning everyone and thanks for joining us today for Five Below's Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results Conference call. Due to yesterday's market closure, we changed the logistics for our earnings conference call. On today's prerecorded call are Joel Anderson, President and CEO and Ken Bull, CFO and Treasurer. We will host a live Q&A session with Joel and Ken today at 8:00 AM Eastern Time.
(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)
One quick housekeeping note; last year was a 53-week fiscal year, which shifted this fiscal year's quarters by one week. Ken will review this shift in his remarks, and please see our press release for more information.
I will now turn the call over to Joel.
Joel D. Anderson
Thank you Christiane and thanks everyone for joining us for our third quarter earnings call. I will review the highlights of the quarter, before handing it over to Ken to discuss our financials and outlook.
We are very pleased with our third quarter performance, which exceeded our guidance. Total sales increased 22% to $313 million, driven by continued strong results from our new stores and a comp of 4.8%. Earnings per share grew 33% to $0.24. The biggest driver of our growth continues to be our new stores and the performance of our new stores remains strong.
During the third quarter, we opened a record 53 stores in diverse markets across a range of 20 states. 12 of these stores made it to the top 25 all-time summer or fall grand opening list. We believe the growing success of our new stores across geographies and markets is a testament to the universal appeal of Five Below, as well as the benefits of our expanding scale and brand awareness. With only 750 stores today, we have a long runway of growth as we expand nationally to realize our 2,500-plus store potential in the United States.
Including the stores we opened early in the fourth quarter, we have now completed our store openings for the year. The highlight was opening our first Manhattan store on Fifth Avenue. We are thrilled with this location. And if you have not been there, you need to go. From the street, passersby see our vibrant signage and entry with a colorful flashing video, featuring our eight worlds and incredible murals on both walls, created in-house by one of our talented designers. Our real estate, construction, creative and store opening teams really outdid themselves to see this project to completion. We believe this prime location will track both New Yorkers and tourists alike and it will also have the added benefit of increasing our overall brand awareness.
Moving on to comp. You will recall that last year our spinner-driven out performance in Q2 was followed by equally impressive broad-based Q3 results, as we delivered a very strong transaction-driven comp of 8.5% in 2017. We believe customers who had discovered us through the spinner craze, return to our stores and continued to shop at Five Below. This quarter, we once again experienced broad-based performance,