HanesBrands reported third-quarter net sales increased 3 percent, earnings per diluted share for continuing operations increased 31 percent to $1.11, and free cash flow totaled $287 million.

Net sales for the quarter ended Sept. 29, 2012, totaled $1.22 billion, up from $1.19 billion a year ago. EPS growth contributors included Innerwear segment performance and across-the-board tight expense control. Unless noted, all performance measures are for continuing operations and therefor exclude the companies recently exist imagewear businesses.

For 2012 full-year guidance, the company increased the low end of its EPS range by 4 cents to $2.54 to $2.60. It expects net sales of approximately $4.52 billion and free cash flow of approximately $500 million, the high end of its previous range.

“We are executing well and had a very good quarter as reflected in our operating margin, free cash flow and EPS, all of which are all-time quarterly records,” Hanes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Noll said. “Cotton inflation is behind us, and we are generating momentum for continued growth.”

Third-Quarter Business Highlights

  • The company’s overall operating profit margin increased 60 basis points to 12.8 percent in the quarter, reflecting continuous sequential improvement since the first quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased as a percentage of net sales, mitigating the impact of higher cotton costs.

  • The company generated free cash flow of $287 million in the quarter and has now completed the retirement of approximately $300 million of floating-rate bond debt as planned in 2012. 

  • Innerwear segment net sales increased 3 percent in the quarter and operating profit increased 10 percent. Excluding sales declines to a mid-tier retail customer that is undergoing a major strategic shift, Innerwear sales would have increased 5 percent in the third quarter versus last year.

  • Innerwear sales growth has increased for three consecutive quarters in 2012. The 3 percent growth in the third quarter built on 2 percent growth in the second quarter and 1 percent growth in the first quarter. Hanes and Champion underwear combined for double-digit growth and women’s panties growth was in the mid-single digits. New-product innovation contributed to growth, including Hanes ComfortBlend men’s underwear, Hanes Classics slim fit and stretch premium underwear T-shirts, and Bali and Barely There Smart Size seamless bras. 

  • Outerwear segment net sales increased 5 percent in the quarter, while operating profit declined 4 percent. Sales for Champion activewear and Gear for Sports licensed apparel increased, but higher cotton costs suppressed segment operating profitability. 

  • International segment net sales declined 3 percent, while increasing 2 percent on a constant currency basis, and operating profit increased 19 percent on a reported basis.
    • Net sales for the Direct to Consumer segment increased 2 percent, and operating profit increased 18 percent.

2012 Guidance

Hanes’ revised 2012 full-year guidance for continuing operations is diluted EPS of $2.54 to $2.60, compared with previous guidance of $2.50 to $2.60. Net sales are expected to increase approximately 2 percent to approximately $4.52 billion, compared with previous guidance of $4.52 billion to $4.57 billion. Full-year free cash flow is expected to be approximately $500 million, the high end of the previous range of $400 million to $500 million.

The corresponding guidance for the fourth-quarter is net sales of approximately $1.13 billion to $1.17 billion and EPS of $1.00 to $1.06. The company expects a gross margin percentage in the mid-30s and an operating profit margin of slightly more than 13 percent. Interest expense is expected to be approximately $33 million, and the effective tax rate is expected to be in the midteens.

The company’s guidance for continuing operations is based on the following facts. Product pricing, shelf space, and promotion plans for the remainder of 2012 have been finalized with major retail accounts. All commodity costs have been fixed for the remainder of the year, with the company incurring significantly lower cotton and other inflation impacts for the remainder of the year.

The company will continue to focus its use of free cash flow on debt retirement. In 2012, the company retired all of its approximately $300 million of floating rate notes. For 2013, the company remains committed to prepaying all of its $500 million of 8 percent fixed-rate notes.

The company continues to believe that a reasonable estimate of EPS potential in 2013 is in the low $3 range.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
(Amounts in thousands, except per-share amounts)
Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended
September 29, 2012 October 1, 2011 % Change September 29, 2012 October 1, 2011 % Change
Net sales $ 1,218,681 $ 1,185,304 2.8% $ 3,372,465 $ 3,333,340 1.2%
Cost of sales 818,751 771,251 2,350,489 2,168,305
Gross profit 399,930 414,053 -3.4% 1,021,976 1,165,035 -12.3%
As a % of net sales 32.8% 34.9% 30.3% 35.0%
Selling, general and
administrative expenses 243,422 269,109 734,872 792,177
As a % of net sales 20.0% 22.7% 21.8% 23.8%
Operating profit 156,508 144,944 8.0% 287,104 372,858 -23.0%
As a % of net sales 12.8% 12.2% 8.5% 11.2%
Other expenses 3,373 880 4,829 2,295
Interest expense, net 32,897 38,255 106,503 118,483
Income from continuing operations
before income tax expense 120,238 105,809 175,772 252,080
Income tax expense 9,055 20,739 21,544 48,283
Income from continuing operations 111,183 85,070 30.7% <

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