LL Flooring Inc. , the wood flooring company formerly called Lumber Liquidators, posted weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Wednesday and sales that fell short of estimates, as inflation and higher interest rates crimped consumer spending. The company had net income of $2.7 million, or 9 cents a share, for the quarter, down from $11.9 million, or 41 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 13 cents, below the 23 cent FactSet consensus. Sales fell to $298.8 million from $301.4 million, also below the $303 million FactSet consensus. Same-store sales fell 3.1%, more than the FactSet consensus for a decline of 2.0%. “The year-over-year decrease in comparable store sales reflected continued lower spending by consumers versus last year, which we believe reflected pressure from inflation and higher interest rates, and their preference to spend more on travel and entertainment,” CEO Charles Tyson said in a statement. Given the uncertain landscape, the company is not offering financial guidance for the rest of the year, but said given near-term consumer spending habits, it’s more cautious on the outlook for the second half and can’t be sure it will deliver positive same-store sales on a full-year basis. “The Company continues to expect higher transportation and material costs will be a headwind to gross margins in 2022,” it said. It expects to partially offset higher costs through pricing, promotion and sourcing strategies. It expects to open 20 to 22 new stores in 2022. Shares slid 9% premarket, and have fallen 43% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 14%.
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