UPDATE 2-Canadian Tire adjusted earnings up, raises dividend

Thu Nov 8, 2012 10:43am EST

* Third-quarter adjusted profit up 3.5 percent

* Net earnings per share C$1.61 vs C$1.67 year earlier

* Revenue rises 4.6 percent to C$2.83 billion

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Canadian Tire Corp, one of the country's biggest and best-known retailers, reported higher adjusted earnings and revenue on Thursday and boosted its dividend.

The company's results benefited from the financial services segment, as higher credit card receivables increased revenue and operating expenses fell. But retail income before income taxes declined slightly.

Canadian Tire said it would raise its quarterly dividend by 17 percent to 35 Canadian cents a share.

The company sells housewares, sporting goods and automotive products at its namesake Canadian Tire stores, sporting goods under several banners in its FGL Sports division, and apparel at Mark's, formerly Mark's Work Wearhouse.

Performance was weakest at the flagship Canadian Tire chain, where sales at established stores fell 0.2 percent, partly reflecting a soft market for automotive parts and service.

FGL Sports raised same-store sales 4.4 percent. The key metric was 1.7 percent higher at Mark's, thanks to growth in women's apparel and industrial footwear, especially in western Canada.

Income before income taxes edged down 0.1 percent to C$105.6 million in the retail division, but rose 14.8 percent to C$73.7 million in financial services.

Net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 29 fell to C$131.4 million ($132.0 million), or C$1.61 a share, from C$136.5 million, or C$1.67, a year earlier.

Excluding a tax benefit and a gain on shares of the recently acquired FGL Sports in the prior year and other one-time items, the company said adjusted earnings rose 3.5 percent.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of C$1.67 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 4.6 percent to C$2.83 billion, compared with an average estimate of C$2.87 billion.

Shares fell in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday. The company's more heavily traded class A shares were down 0.6 percent at C$70.76 in a slightly negative market.

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