By Tess Stynes
Herman Miller Inc. said its fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 18% on broad sales growth and stronger margins.
Shares rose 6.1% to $30.45 in after-hours trading, shortly after the financial results were released, as the office-furniture company projected fiscal-fourth-quarter results that were mostly higher than expectations.
For the current quarter, the company forecast per-share earnings of 43 cents to 47 cents and net sales of $485 million to $505 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share profit of 43 cents and revenue of $488 million.
Herman Miller has been introducing new designs as companies adapt workspaces to changing needs. The company has faced pressures from soft U.S. government demand and challenges from mixed economic conditions in other markets.
New orders climbed 21% to $464 million reflecting broad-based growth. Herman Miller also estimated that a price increase that took effect on Feb. 3 pushed ahead about $22 million of orders that otherwise would have been entered in the current quarter. Excluding the impact of the moved-ahead orders, currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, new orders rose 4.2%.
For the period ended March 1, Herman Miller reported a profit of $19.4 million, or 33 cents a share, up from $16.5 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items restructuring related expenses and other items, adjusted earnings rose to 34 cents from 32 cents. Net sales increased 7.7% to $455.9 million.
The company forecast per-share earnings of 30 cents to 36 cents and sales of $445 million to $465 million.
Gross margin rose to 35.7% from 34.1%.
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