99 Cents Only has big store plans, Q2 comps up 6.7%

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — A strong earnings and sales performance during its fiscal second quarter gave 99 Cents Only Stores the confidence to raise its full-year guidance and become more aggressive with store growth. The company reported that total retail sales increased 9% to $352.2 million and same-store sales increased 6.7% for the second quarter. Consolidated net income increased by $2.2 million to $15.1 million or 21 cents per diluted share, versus $12.9 million in the prior year, or 18 cents per diluted share

Eric Schiffer, CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores, stated, "We are pleased with our financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Our long-term operational improvement initiatives have continued to meet our expectations, resulting in earnings per share of 21 cents for the second quarter of fiscal 2012."

For fiscal 2012, as previously announced, the company has raised its same-store-sales percentage increase expectations for the full year to mid-single digits and plans to open 12 stores in the second half of the year. Of these 12 new stores, the company said it has already opened one store in the third quarter and plans to open two more stores in the third quarter and approximately nine stores in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. The majority of these new store openings in fiscal 2012 will be in California. The company said it plans to accelerate its store growth rate to approximately 10% in fiscal 2013, with the majority of new stores expected to be in California.