UPDATE 2-Williams-Sonoma blows past estimates, raises outlook

* Q2 EPS ex-items 31 cents vs Street view 22 cents

* Sales $776 mln vs Street view of $757.9 mln

* Boosts full-year outlook

* Shares up 4.1 percent
(Adds outlook, background, share activity, byline)

By Dhanya Skariachan

NEW YORK, Aug 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Williams-Sonoma Inc (WSM.N: )
posted a far stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as it used
mailers and exclusive merchandise to lure more shoppers, and
the upscale chain boosted its full-year outlook.

Shares of the company — whose rivals include Bed Bath &
Beyond Inc (BBBY.O: ), privately held Crate & Barrel and Pier 1
(PIR.N: ) — rose more than 4 percent.

Williams-Sonoma has risked its high-end image and lowered
prices on some items to attract post-recession American
shoppers. This in turn helped it win over middle-income
consumers who buy pricey goods to convey a wealthier
lifestyle.

The company has also been ramping up its email marketing
efforts and stepping up its focus on new product lines and
exclusive merchandise in a bid to draw new shoppers.

The operator of Williams-Sonoma cookware stores and the
Pottery Barn furnishings chain said net profit rose to $30.8
million, or 28 cents a share, in the second quarter ended on
Aug. 1, from $399,000, or break-even a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 31 cents a share.
Analysts on average were expecting 22 cents, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 15.4 percent to $776 million, beating
analysts’ estimates of $757.9 million.

For the full year, the company sees net revenue rising 9
percent to 11 percent, up from its earlier forecast of 6
percent to 9 percent.

Williams-Sonoma forecast fiscal-year earnings at $1.63 to
$1.70 a share before items. Its previous outlook was $1.39 to
$1.48.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma rose 4.1 percent to $29.50 in
trading before the market opened.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Dhanya Skariachan in
New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

UPDATE 2-Williams-Sonoma blows past estimates, raises outlook