Earlier this month, Weis issued its fourth quarter results. In the thirteen-week period ended December 28, 2013, the retailer’s sales totaled $686.4 million, down 1.1 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Comparable store sales for the same period were down 3.5 percent.
Fourth quarter net income declined 28.9 percent to $15.7 million compared to the same period in 2012. Fourth quarter earnings per share totaled $.59 compared to $.83 in 2012.
Weis said its fourth quarter results were impacted by a decline in food stamp/SNAP spending in its stores and a shortened holiday season, which impacted sales in key center store categories. Its results were affected by fuel price deflation, which resulted in lower retail gas sales. Deli sales were also lower due to manufacturer recalls.
The closely-held supermarket operator attributed its lower fourth quarter net income to these sales trends and the recognition of a $680,000 future liability associated with the lease commitment of a closed store property.
For all of fiscal 2013, the Weis’ sales totaled $2.7 billion, down 0.3 percent compared to 2012. Comparable store sales for the 52 week period declined 2.6 percent. Year to date net income totaled 2.7 percent of net sales or $71.7 million, down 13.1 percent. The retailer’s year to date earnings per share totaled $2.67 compared to $3.07 in 2012.
While Weis said that its market share remained stable, the regional chain’s year-to-date results were impacted by the trends affecting its fourth quarter results: stagnant sales performance in key center store categories, lower comparable store gas sales due to significant fuel price deflation and a decline in SNAP sales, which accelerated in the fourth quarter.
Weis added that its 2013 net income was impacted by a $6.1 million charge for the separation agreement of David Hepfinger, its former CEO, and a $2.1 million impairment loss for four properties and, as detailed in its fourth quarter report, a $680,000 future liability associated with the lease commitment of a closed store property.