UPDATE 2-Select Comfort 1st-qtr margins fall, shares down

Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:19pm EDT

* Q1 adj EPS $0.45 vs est $0.40

* Q1 rev $262.4 mln vs est $233.7 mln

* Sees 2012 adj EPS $1.38-$1.46 vs est $1.38

* Shares down about 3 percent in aftermarket trade

April 18 (Reuters) - Select Comfort Corp posted quarterly results that beat Wall Street expectations, but a fall in gross margins on promotions sent the mattress maker's shares down in aftermaket trading.

The company, known for its Sleep Number line of adjustable-firmness mattresses, said first-quarter gross margin fell to 62.6 percent, from 63.8 percent last year.

Select Comfort, which has been increasing its store count and ramping up promotions to gain share from rivals such as Tempur-Pedic International Inc and Sealy Corp, said sales and marketing costs were up nearly a third to $106.2 million. Media spending rose 48 percent to $35 million.

Last month, rival Sealy Corp posted a first-quarter profit on higher.

First-quarter net income rose to $22.4 million, or 39 cents per share, up from $16.6 million, or 30 cents per share, last year.

Excluding items, the company earned 45 cents per share for the first quarter, which came in higher than analysts' expectations of 40 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Select Comfort said sales rose 36 percent to $262.4 million on a 34 percent jump in comparable sales of company controlled stores. This also beat analysts' view of $233.7 million.

The company, which sells mattresses with prices ranging from $699 to upwards of $4,000, has now beaten market expectations for the thirteenth time in a row.

Select Comfort's shares, which had closed at $35.24 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq, fell 3 percent in aftermarket trade.

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