* Q2 2011 EPS C$1.29 vs C$1.50 in Q2 2010
* Profit missed C$1.45 estimate, according to I/B/E/S
* Revenue up 4 pct to C$2.57 bln
* Spending on promotions, infrastructure holds back profit
(Adds analyst comment, additional context on costs,
competition, updates market reaction)
By Allison Martell and S. John Tilak
TORONTO, Aug 11 Canadian Tire Corp (CTC.TO)
(CTCa.TO), one of the country's biggest retailers, said on
Thursday quarterly profit fell 14 percent as it spent more on
promotions and invested in infrastructure.
Profit at the company, whose flagship Canadian Tire chain
sells housewares, sporting goods and automotive products,
dropped even as higher gasoline prices helped boost retail
sales by 5.1 percent.
Earnings fell to C$105.8 million, or C$1.29 a share, in the
fiscal second qarter ended July 2, from C$122.8 million, or
C$1.50, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of C$1.45 a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue, which includes financial services, rose 4 percent
to C$2.57 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate
of C$2.62 billion.
In addition to spending on its stores and merchandising,
lower-than-expected sales of some seasonal goods and costs
related to the company's Forzani Group acquisition held back
profit, said Chief Executive Officer Stephen Wetmore in a
release. A new loyalty program raised operating expenses.
Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said that higher costs
will likely taper off in the coming quarters, as short-term
investments wrap up. But competition and consumer confidence
are more of a challenge.
"It's a tough operating environment," he said.
Canadian Tire's stock took a hit in January when Target
Corp (TGT.N) said it would enter Canada. Shares are still well
below their January high.
The full impact of Target's entry will not be clear for
some time, but Yarbrough said that Canadian Tire only has a 15
percent product overlap with Target.
FORANZI ACQUISITION ON TRACK
Canadian Tire's planned C$771 million purchase of Forzani
Group Ltd FGL.TO, the country's top sports retailer, cleared
a review by the Competition Bureau in early August. The company
said it expects that transaction to close in the current
The Toronto-based company also owns PartSource autoparts
outlets and Mark's Work Wearhouse, a chain of casual and work
clothing stores that it acquired about a decade ago.
Since the acquisition, revenue and margins have improved
substantially at Mark's, and analysts have pointed to that as
an indication of what the retailer could achieve with Forzani.
Canadian Tire's more heavily traded Class A shares rose 0.7
percent to C$55.92 Thursday afternoon on the Toronto Stock
(Editing by Frank McGurty)