SUNBURY, Pa. — Cautious shoppers and product price deflation caused net earnings to fall by 8.8% during the fourth quarter for Weis Markets, the retailer here said Monday.
For the 13-week quarter that ended Dec. 26, Weis reported sales of $671.4 million — an 8.4% increase — and comparable-store sales of 1.9%. Net earnings of $15.5 million were down from $17 million in the same period last year. Earnings per share of 58 cents fell short of analyst estimates of 65 cents.
“We continue to make progress in a difficult environment, marked by cautious consumer spending and price deflation,” David Hepfinger, Weis’ chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Despite these challenges, we have produced five consecutive quarters of strong operating results through improved operating performance, more focused promotional programs and increased efficiencies at store and distribution levels.”
Weis recorded net income of $62.8 million on sales of $2.5 billion for the fiscal year. Earnings were up by 33.6% for the year and sales climbed by 3.9%. Comps for the year were 1.8%.
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