Personal Finance

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. on the Rise Again

Upscale home goods retailer Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM) laid out a plan several years ago to turn its business around and make it more reflective of the way consumers are shopping. Many companies, though, say they're going to do this or that, so the retailer's blueprint was nothing special. It became a matter of whether you believed in management or not, and whether, despite a positive outlook, it could overcome a very negative retail environment too.

In this clip from the Motley Fool Money  radio show, Chris Hill, Ron Gross, and Matt Argersinger talk about Williams-Sonoma's surprisingly good first-quarter earnings report, and how the company has solidly managed to turn around less-than-stellar performance. But with the good news, is it still a good value?

A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on May 27, 2016.

Chris Hill: Williams-Sonoma's first-quarter profit and revenue came in higher than expected, and shares are moving higher as well this week. This is a good quarter, Ron.

Ron Gross: Yeah. Tough time for retail, as we were saying, but I like this report. Beat on both revenue and earnings. West Elm, their furniture division, up 19%. Williams-Sonoma up 3.5%. Pottery Barn, which has been the weak spot, actually pretty robust. E-commerce now more than 50% of sales, that was up 8%. A very strong report. Williams-Sonoma has struggled over the last year, after having a great run. Shares are off quite a bit. But now, I think with these numbers looking good and the stock where it is, it could be a nice entry point for investors just looking to get in.

Matt Argersinger: That's a surprisingly good number. I had no idea that their e-commerce sales were already 50% of revenue.

Gross: That was the thesis two or three years ago. They said, "This is what we need to do. We need to increase that business." And if you didn't buy into that concept, that they'd be able to, you didn't want to own the stock. And they executed it.

Hill: I was just going to say, that's the difference with Williams-Sonoma. They've talked about this omnichannel approach for years, and unlike a lot of other retailers that give lip service particularly to their e-commerce efforts, Williams-Sonoma has actually delivered on it.

Argersinger: Getting it done.

Gross: And I missed it. I didn't believe they would. Therefore, I didn't get into the stock. I don't think it's too late, actually. Seven times EBITDA right here at this price. Probably, as long as things stay on the right trajectory, it could be the right time to get in.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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