Shares of Williams-Sonoma Inc. WSM climbed 3.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the home products retailer reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations even as revenue missed, and raised its dividend by 15%. Net income fell to $355.0 million, or $5.28 a share, from $402.9 million, or $5.41 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share of $5.50 beat the FactSet consensus of $5.46. Revenue slipped 1.9% to $2.45 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $2.61 billion, as Pottery Barn revenue rose 5.0% to $967 million, while Williams Sonoma revenue fell 5.1% and West Elm revenue dropped 10.7%. Separately, the company raised its quarterly dividend to 90 cents a share from 78 cents, with the new dividend payable May 26 to shareholders of record on April 21. Based on Wednesday’s stock closing price of $118.61, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 3.04%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 SPX of 1.75%. The company also set a new stock repurchase program of $1 billion, which represents 12.7% of the company’s market capitalization. The stock has gained 6.2% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has tacked on 1.0%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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