Sally's earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 vaulted to $14.3 million from $3.1 million in the same period a year ago, when the firm incurred transaction costs associated with splitting from Alberto-Culver Co. in late 2006.
Sally earned 8 cents a diluted share in the first quarter, up from 2 cents in the same period a year ago. Wall Street analysts had expected the firm to earn 9 cents a share, according to Yahoo Finance.
Quarterly sales rose 4.1 percent to $655.8 million from $629.9 million a year ago.
"Over 50 percent of consolidated revenues were sales to salon professionals," stated president and chief executive officer Gary Winterhalter.
He noted, however, that a drop in same-store sales within the firm's 2,726-store Sally Beauty Supply chain (to a 0.3 percent rise from a 3.4 percent gain in the same period last year) was a result of a "generally weak selling environment."
Revenues of the Sally Beauty Supply chain rose 9.8 percent to $408.3 million, from $371.9 million in the same period a year ago.
Comparable-store sales within the firm's 905-store Beauty Systems Group gained 7.5 percent, compared with a 9.9 percent rise in the year-ago period. BSG revenues for the first quarter declined 4 percent to $247.5 million, from $257.9 million a year ago.
Overall, same-store sales were up 2.1 percent, compared with a 5 percent increase a year ago.
"We are very pleased with the company's first-quarter sales and strong profitability, signaling an excellent start to the fiscal year," stated Winterhalter, who added during a conference call with analysts Thursday morning that he believes Sally Beauty Supply has the potential to expand to 3,000 stores.