Weis Posts Double-Digit Q4 Sales

Following some of the biggest strides taken in its 104-year history, Weis Markets Inc. posted a 17.6 percent fourth-quarter sales increase, and a comparable-store sales rise of 3.4 percent in 2016. Excluding a one-time gain related to the purchase of former Food Lion stores, the grocer’s non-GAAP net income grew 4 percent to $17.3 million, while earnings per share were 64 cents.

“In 2016, we acquired and converted 44 stores in 96 days and generated more than $3 billion in sales for the first time in our 104-year history,” noted Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We continued to improve every aspect of our operations in 2016, including supply chain, merchandising and in-store experience, which resulted in a year of strong sales and earnings growth.”

For the 14-week period ended Dec. 31, 2016, the regional retailer's sales soared 26 percent to $925.1 million, versus $734.1 million for the year-ago period. In the fourth quarter, Weis Markets generated earnings per share of $1.52, compared with 61 cents per share last year. Fourth-quarter net income swelled 148.2 percent to $41.1 million alongside a one-time gain of $23.9 million on the acquisition of 38 Food Lion stores.

Fourth-quarter operating income rose 4.9 percent to $27 million, compared with the year-ago period.

Year-to-Date Results

Again adjusting for the extra week, Weis Markets’ 2016 sales climbed 6.9 percent while comps bumped up 2.9 percent. Excluding the one-time gain, the company’s non-GAAP 2016 net income came to $63.3 million, a 6.7 percent increase, while adjusted earnings per share totaled $2.35.

For the 53-week period ended Dec. 31, 2016, Weis Markets’ sales rose 9 percent to $3.1 billion, versus $2.9 billion for the year-ago period. Year-to-date net income grew 46.9 percent to $87.2 million, while earnings per share increased 46.6 percent to $3.24, compared with $2.21 in 2015. Year-to-date operating income grew 8.3 percent to $98.3 million.

In 2016, Weis Markets' comp and net income increases resulted from ongoing price investments, disciplined sales promotions, an improved customer experience and better supply chain efficiencies, as well as solid pharmacy and fresh department sales gains.

Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 204 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

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