operating profit was $519 million, or 12.4 percent of sales.
Interest expense was $27 million in the 2012 fourth quarter compared to $40 million in the 2011 fourth quarter, with the decrease attributable to lower all-in interest rates.
The effective income tax rate in the 2012 fourth quarter was 35.9 percent compared to 37.5 percent in the 2011 fourth quarter. The 2012 fourth quarter benefited by approximately $6.5 million, or $0.02 per share, from the retroactive (for employees hired on or after January 1, 2012) reenactment of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit ("WOTC"). Had WOTC been effective for these employees from the beginning of the fiscal year, income tax expense in prior quarters would have been reduced by the following estimated amounts: $2.6 million in the first quarter, $2.3 million in the second quarter and $1.6 million in the third quarter.
Net income for the 2012 fourth quarter was $317 million, or diluted earnings per share ("EPS") of $0.97, compared to net income of $293 million, or diluted EPS of $0.85, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Adjusted net income, as defined below, in the 2011 fourth quarter was $299 million, or adjusted diluted EPS of $0.87. The Company estimates that the 2011 53rd week contributed approximately $0.06 per share.
Adjusted net income is defined as net income excluding specifically identified expenses. For the 2012 and 2011 full years, the adjustments relate to the acceleration of equity-based compensation and expenses relating to secondary offerings of the Company's common stock and net losses on debt repurchases in each year, $13.1 million relating to two settled legal matters in 2011 and certain items resulting from debt refinancing and interest rate swaps in 2012. In the 2011 fourth quarter, the acceleration of equity-based compensation and other expenses relating to a secondary offering of the Company's stock were excluded. The income tax effect of adjustments is also excluded from all periods presented. A reconciliation of adjusted net income to net income is presented in the accompanying schedules.
Full Year 2012 Financial Results
Full year 2012 net sales increased 8.2 percent to $16.02 billion compared to net sales of $14.81 billion in 2011. Excluding the impact of the 2011 53rd week, net sales increased 10.4 percent. Same-store sales, based on the comparable 52-week periods ended February 1, 2013 and February 3, 2012, increased 4.7 percent, including increases in both customer traffic and average transaction amount, resulting from the refinement of the Company's merchandise offerings, improvements in category management processes and store standards, and increased utilization of store square footage. The increase in sales of consumables outpaced non-consumables, with sales of snacks, candy, beverages and perishables contributing the majority of the increase throughout the year.
The Company's gross profit rate was 31.7 percent of sales in 2012 and 2011. Factors favorably impacting the gross profit rate included a significantly lower LIFO provision, higher inventory markups, and improved transportation efficiencies due in part to a decrease in average miles per delivery enabled by the Company's new distribution centers and other logistics initiatives. These positive factors were offset by higher markdowns, a reduction in price increases and a modest
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