Williams-Sonoma Shares Jump as Results Exceed Estimates

Williams-Sonoma Inc., the San Francisco-based seller of cookware and home furnishings, climbed the most in eight months after third-quarter results topped analysts’ estimates.

Earnings were 68 cents a share in the period, which ended on Nov. 2, the company said yesterday in a statement. Analysts had predicted 63 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales climbed 8.7 percent to $1.14 billion, also above projections.

The results stoked investor optimism for a retailer that stumbled in the previous quarter, when same-store sales missed projections. This time around, comparable sales grew 8.7 percent, exceeding the 5.7 percent estimate compiled by Consensus Metrix. Sales jumped 17 percent at the West Elm housewares chain, while the PBteen brand grew 12 percent. Williams-Sonoma also operates Pottery Barn, in addition to its namesake cookware chain.

Williams-Sonoma has benefited from consumers making big-ticket purchases and investing more in their homes. Chief Executive Officer Laura Alber also is looking to gifts and decorations to boost holiday sales. The year-end shopping season kicks off next week.

“We have a strong lineup of beautiful gifts, entertaining and decorating collections across all of our brands,” she said in the statement.

The shares climbed 8.4 percent to $75.22 at the close of trading in New York, the biggest one-day gain since March 13. The stock has advanced 29 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has climbed 11 percent.

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