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Why Is Sally Beauty (SBH) Up 19.5% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Sally Beauty (SBH - Free Report) . Shares have added about 19.5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Sally Beauty due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Sally Beauty's Q4 Earnings Top Estimates, Sales Down

Sally Beauty reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 results, with the top line missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate and declining year over year. Nevertheless, the bottom line surpassed that consensus mark and increased. Management refrained from providing any formal guidance for fiscal 2021.

Q4 in Detail

Sally Beauty reported adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents. The metric grew 8.6% year over year. Increased gross margin, lower income tax expense and reduced average share contributed to the upside. However, these were somewhat offset by increased SG&A expenses and interest costs.

Consolidated net sales of $957.8 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $983 million. The metric inched down 0.8% year over year. The top line was affected by slower recovery from elements of BSG’s full-service business, loss of professional sales stemming from second round of pandemic-induced salon closures across California in July and August. Also, reduced store count compared with the year-ago quarter was a reason. Nevertheless, improved same store sales and favorable foreign currency rates offered some respite.Consolidated same-store sales inched up 1.3% while global e-commerce sales surged 69%.

Gross profit increased $9.9 million to $489.1 million. Gross margin expanded 150 basis points (bps) to 51.1% on the back of reduced promotions and favorable mix shifts to higher margin categories. However, lower vendor allowances and less inventory purchases were a drag.

SG&A expenses increased 0.8% to nearly $367 million in the quarter.  SG&A, as a percentage of sales, increased to 38.3% from 37.7% reported in the year-ago quarter due to increased e-commerce delivery costs, investment in transformation plans as well as reduced sales volume.

Adjusted operating earnings increased to $120.3 million from $115.3 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating margin expanded from 11.9% to 12.6% in the quarter.

Segment Details

Sally Beauty Supply: Net sales in the segment inched up 0.8% to $576.6 million in the quarter on the back of higher same store sales and favorable foreign exchange impact of nearly 40 bps. These were somewhat offset by reduced number of stores when compared to the year-ago quarter as well as temporary store closures in Latin America owing to the pandemic. Further, global same store sales improved 1.7%.

Net store count at the end of the quarter was 3,653, down 42 from the year-ago quarter’s level.

Beauty Systems Group: Net sales in the segment fell 3.3% to $381.2 million. Foreign-currency translation had nearly 10 bps impact on the results. Sales decline was caused by slower recovery from the national account chain business. Also, adverse impact of loss in sales stemming from second round of pandemic-induced salon closures in California salons during parts of July and August was a reason.

Net store count at the end of the quarter was 1,385, up 19 from the year-ago quarter’s level. Same-store sales inched up 0.6%. Total distributor sales consultants at the end of the quarter were 715 compared with 748 in the year-ago quarter.

Other Financial Aspects

The company ended the reported quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $514.2 million, long-term debt of $1,796.9 million, and total stockholders’ equity of $15.4 million.

In the quarter, cash flow from operations was $152.5 million, while capital expenditure amounted to $21.1 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 10.03% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Sally Beauty has a great Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a D. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Sally Beauty has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.

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