Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. Reports Results for the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2013

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Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. Reports Results for the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2013

MATTHEWS, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. (NYS: HTSI) (the "Company") today reported that sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 ended July 2, 2013 increased by 2.9% to $1.19 billion from $1.15 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. For the 39 weeks ended July 2, 2013, sales increased by 3.6% to $3.52 billion from $3.39 billion for the comparable period of fiscal 2012. The increase in sales for the quarter and 39-week period was driven by an increase in comparable store sales and sales from new stores, partially offset by store closings. Comparable store sales increased by 1.29% for the quarter, and 2.48% for the 39-week period ended July 2, 2013, from the respective comparable periods of fiscal 2012. Comparable store sales for fiscal 2013 were negatively impacted by the shift of both the Easter and Fourth of July Holidays. Sales for the Easter Holiday were reported in the Company's second quarter of fiscal 2013, as compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2012; in addition, sales for the day before the Fourth of July Holiday will be reported in the Company's fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, but was included in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Management estimates that the negative impact due to the shift in the holiday periods was 70 basis points for the quarter and 13 basis points for the 39 weeks ended July 2, 2013.

During the first nine months of fiscal 2013, the Company opened five new stores, two of which were the stores acquired from Lowe's Food Stores, Inc. ("Lowes Foods") in 2012 that were re-opened under a new format and banner - "201central," and one of which replaced a store previously closed, and closed one store that will be replaced with a new store to be opened in fiscal 2014. Since the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2012, the Company has opened twelve new stores and closed one store that will be replaced with a new store to be opened in fiscal 2014, for a net addition of eleven stores. The Company operated 212 stores as of the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2013.


Gross profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 increased by 4.0% to $362.2 million (30.54% of sales) from $348.3 million (30.22% of sales) in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. For the 39 weeks ended July 2, 2013, gross profit increased by 3.7% to $1.06 billion (30.05% of sales) from $1.02 billion (30.03% of sales) in the same period of fiscal 2012. The LIFO charge for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 was zero as compared to $1.5 million (0.13% of sales) in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. The LIFO charge for the first nine months of fiscal 2013 was $0.7 million (0.02% of sales) as compared to $7.4 million (0.22% of sales) for the first nine months of fiscal 2012. The Company currently estimates that it will experience minimal product cost inflation during fiscal 2013.

Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 decreased from the third quarter of fiscal 2012, while during the first nine months of fiscal 2013 SG&A expenses increased from the respective nine month period in the prior year primarily as a result of incremental store growth and its impact on associated operational costs. On a percent of sales basis, SG&A expenses decreased by 150 basis points during the quarter and 43 basis points for the 39 weeks ended July 2, 2013, as compared to the respective periods of the prior year. As reported in the prior year, the operating results for the comparable quarter and 39-week period in fiscal 2012 included approximately $22.3 million of impairment losses and other incremental costs associated with the store purchase and sale transaction with Lowes Foods ("Lowes Foods Transaction Costs") and gains of $3.1 million recognized from life insurance proceeds. The net impact of these items effectively increased fiscal 2012 SG&A expenses by $19.2 million, or 167 basis points for the comparable quarter and 57 basis points for the comparable 39-week period.

Operating profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 increased by 69.1% to $55.0 million (4.64% of sales) from $32.6 million (2.82% of sales) in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. For the 39 weeks ended July 2, 2013, operating profit increased by 15.6% to $151.8 million (4.32% of sales) from $131.3 million (3.87% of sales) in the comparable period of fiscal 2012.

The Company reported net earnings of $31.1 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, compared to net earnings of $15.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 were comprised of earnings from continuing operations of $32.2 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, and a loss from discontinued operations of $1.1 million. Net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was comprised of earnings from continuing operations of $20.0 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, and a loss from discontinued operations of $4.2 million.

Net earnings for the 39 weeks ended July 2, 2013 totaled $86.7 million and was comprised of earnings from continuing operations of $87.8 million, or $1.79 per diluted share, and a loss from discontinued operations of $1.1 million. Net earnings for the 39 weeks ended July 1, 2012 totaled $59.7 million and was comprised of earnings from continuing operations of $76.2 million, or $1.55 per diluted share, and a loss from discontinued operations of $16.5 million. In addition to the Lowes Foods Transaction Costs and insurance gains recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 as discussed above, earnings from continuing operations for fiscal 2012 were favorably impacted by a reversal of accrued interest amounting to $1.3 million that was associated with a reduction of the Company's unrecognized tax liabilities. The net impact of these items reduced earnings from continuing operations after tax during the first nine months of fiscal 2012 by $9.6 million, or $0.20 per diluted share.

The loss from discontinued operations in fiscal 2013 resulted from adjustments required to true up the tax benefits realized from the loss on the sale of the Company's wholly-owned industrial thread manufacturing company American & Efird ("A&E"). The loss from discontinued operations in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 included an income tax expense adjustment of $3.5 million for establishing a reserve against future utilization of tax benefits as a result of the A&E purchase price allocation which re-categorized more of the loss on sale as a capital loss. The pre-tax loss from discontinued operations for the first nine months of fiscal 2012 amounted to $19.0 million and were primarily driven by non-cash charges for the settlement of pension liabilities and other employee benefits in connection with the sale of A&E.

Thomas W. Dickson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer stated, "We are pleased with our results for the third quarter. Our comparable store sales increase, which was negatively impacted by the shift of both the Easter and Fourth of July Holidays, remained positive despite the fact that we still do not see any meaningful inflation for the current year. In addition, after adjusting for the shift in the holidays, we continue to realize an increase in the number of items sold year-over-year. We believe that our pricing and promotional strategies are effective in driving unit sales while increasing the quarterly gross margin by 32 basis points over the prior year. We remain committed to our customers to deliver outstanding values and excellent customer service."

The Company's operating performance and strong financial position provides the flexibility to continue with our store development program for new and replacement stores along with the remodeling and expansion of existing stores. Capital expenditures for fiscal 2013 are planned to total approximately $200 million. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, the Company plans to open four new stores and complete major remodels on two stores (both of which will be expanded in size). The fiscal 2013 store development program is expected to result in a 4.2% increase in retail square footage, as compared to a 4.1% increase in fiscal 2012. The Company currently anticipates re-opening the temporarily closed store in the Washington D.C. area during the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Capital expenditures for fiscal 2014 are currently estimated to be approximately $205 million. The Company routinely evaluates its existing store operations in regards to its overall business strategy and from time to time will close or divest underperforming stores.

The Company's capital expenditure plans entail the continued expansion of its existing markets, including the Washington, D.C. metro area which incorporates northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, southern Maryland and coastal Delaware. Real estate development by its nature is both unpredictable and subject to external factors including weather, construction schedules and costs. Any change in the amount and timing of new store development can impact the expected capital expenditures, sales and operating results.

The Company's management remains cautious in its expectations for fiscal 2013 due to the current economic environment and its impact on the Company's customers. The Company will continue to refine its merchandising strategies to respond to the changing shopping demands. The retail grocery market remains intensely competitive, and any operating improvement will be dependent on the Company's ability to increase its market share and to effectively execute the Company's strategic expansion plans.

On July 8, 2013, the Company and The Kroger Co. ("Kroger") entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Kroger will purchase all outstanding shares of the Company for $49.38 per share in cash ("The Merger Agreement"). The terms of the Merger Agreement were approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The merger is expected to close following the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including approval by the Company's shareholders and regulatory approval.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve uncertainties. A discussion of various important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements is shown in reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission and include: generally adverse economic and industry conditions; changes in the competitive environment; economic or political changes; changes in federal, state or local regulations affecting the Company; the passage of future tax legislation, or any negative regulatory or judicial position which prevails; management's ability to predict the adequacy of the Company's liquidity to meet future requirements; volatility of financial and credit markets which would affect access to capital for the Company; changes in the Company's expansion plans and their effect on store openings, closings and other investments; the ability to predict the required contributions to the Company's pension and other retirement plans; the Company's requirement to impair recorded goodwill or other long-lived assets; the cost and availability of energy and raw materials; the continued solvency of third parties on leases that the Company guarantees; the Company's ability to recruit, train and retain effective employees; changes in labor and employer benefits costs, such as increased health care and other insurance costs; the Company's ability to successfully integrate the operations of acquired businesses; the extent and speed of successful execution of strategic initiatives; unexpected outcomes of any legal proceedings arising in the normal course of business; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of The Merger Agreement; the failure to receive, on a timely basis or otherwise, approval of the merger proposal by our shareholders or the approval of government or regulatory agencies with regard to The Merger Agreement; the failure of one or more conditions to the closing of The Merger Agreement to be satisfied; the amount of the costs, fees, expenses and charges related to The Merger Agreement or merger; risks arising from the merger's diversion of management's attention from our ongoing business operations; risks that our stock price may decline significantly if the merger is not completed; and, the ability to retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with customers, suppliers and other business partners pending the completion of the merger. Other factors not identified above could cause actual results to differ materially from those included, contemplated or implied by the forward-looking statements made in this news release.

Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. operates a leading regional supermarket chain in eight states primarily in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States, and the District of Columbia.

Selected information regarding Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. and its subsidiaries follows. For more information on Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., visit our web site at:www.harristeeter.com.

Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc.        
Consolidated Condensed Statements of Earnings
(in thousands, except per share data)
(unaudited)
 
13 Weeks Ended39 Weeks Ended
July 2, 2013July 1, 2012July 2, 2013July 1, 2012
Sales$1,185,842100.00%$1,152,676100.00%$3,516,010100.00%$3,392,621100.00%
Cost of Sales 823,658 69.46% 804,337 69.78% 2,459,512 69.95% 2,373,905 69.97%
Gross Profit362,18430.54%348,33930.22%1,056,49830.05%1,018,71630.03%
 
Selling, General and Administrative 307,138 25.90% 315,781 27.40% 904,681 25.73% 887,410 26.16%
Operating Profit 55,046 4.64% 32,558 2.82% 151,817 4.32% 131,306 3.87%
 
Other Expense (Income):
Interest expense3,9590.33%4,5310.39%12,4880.36%12,6030.37%
Interest income (69)-0.01% (402)-0.03% (206)-0.01% (484)-0.01%
 3,890 0.33% 4,129 0.36% 12,282 0.35% 12,119 0.36%
 
Earnings From Continuing Operations
Before Income Taxes51,1564.31%28,4292.47%139,5353.97%119,1873.51%
Income Tax Expense 19,009 1.60% 8,468 0.73% 51,709 1.47% 42,954 1.27%
Earnings from Continuing Operations, Net 32,147 2.71% 19,961 1.73% 87,826 2.50% 76,233 2.25%
 
Loss from Operations of Discontinued Operations---(15,755)
Loss on Disposition of Discontinued Operations-(692)-(3,281)
Income Tax Expense (Benefit) 1,088  3,484  1,088  (2,501)
Loss from Discontinued Operations, Net (1,088) (4,176) (1,088) (16,535)
 
Net Earnings$31,059 $15,785 $86,738 $59,698 
 
Earnings (Loss) Per Share - Basic:
Continuing Operations$0.66$0.41$1.80$1.56
Discontinued Operations$(0.02)$(0.09)$(0.02)$(0.34)
Net Earnings$0.63$0.32$1.77$1.22
 
Earnings (Loss) Per Share - Diluted:
Continuing Operations$0.65$0.41$1.79$1.55
Discontinued Operations$(0.02)$(0.09)$(0.02)$(0.34)
Net Earnings$0.63$0.32$1.76$1.22
 
Weighted Average Number of Shares of
Common Stock Outstanding:
Basic48,93448,78548,90948,738
Diluted49,22949,06849,19349,034
 
Quarterly Dividends Declared Per Common Share$0.15$0.14$0.45$0.41
Special Dividends Declared Per Common Share$-$-$0.50$-
 
Effective Tax Rate on Continuing Operations37.2%29.8%37.1%36.0%
Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc.  
Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets
(in thousands)
(unaudited)
July 2,October 2,July 1,
201320122012

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