Sleep Number reported record fourth-quarter and annual results, solidifying its strategy of branding itself as not just a mattress retailer but a health-and-wellness company — a position that competitors like Casper aspire to.
For the fourth quarter, the Minneapolis-based maker and retailer of adjustable mattresses earned $24.1 million, or 82 cents per share. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the company earned $27 million, or 81 cents per share, but that included the benefit of $24 million in deliveries that had been shifted from the third quarter of 2018. Without those sales, the adjusted earnings per share in the year-ago quarter was 58 cents, giving Sleep Number adjusted EPS growth of 41%.
For the year, the company had revenue of $1.7 billion, up 11% from 2018 and EPS of $2.70 per share, up 41% for the year.
The company exceeded analysts’ expectations on revenue and earnings for both periods.
Analysts had expected the company to earn 75 cents for the quarter and $2.64 for the year. Sleep Number also exceeded consensus revenue expectations by 3.4% in the quarter and 1.3% for the year.
“Consumer response to our revolutionary 360 smart beds has been exceptional, driving six consecutive quarters of double-digit demand growth, including acceleration in the fourth quarter,” said Sleep Number’s president and CEO, Shelly Ibach, in a news release. “Our differentiated, consumer innovation strategy drove record results again in 2019.”
Competitors such as memory-foam mattress maker Casper have tried to develop that kind of differentiation from the competitive sector.
New York-based Casper completed a long-anticipated initial public offering this month. The company touted its “cutting-edge” technology and data in its registration statement, mainly promoting its direct-to-consumer e-commerce prowess and technology-driven sleep accessories under development.
Most of Sleep Number’s technology is concentrated in its 360 smart beds introduced in 2017. Sensors help adjust mattress firmness to a person’s movement throughout a sleep session. Its Sleep IQ technology also records over 9 billion biometric data points collectively each night, giving users actionable data on their sleeping habits.
Casper, which hasn’t turned profitable yet, eventually priced its IPO at $12 per share, the low end of an already adjusted downward offering range. Since its IPO at the beginning of the month, Casper shares are down 25%.
Sleep Number also issued guidance for 2020 saying it expects EPS to increase 15% for the year, to $3.10 per share, and sales to increase in the high single digits. The company plans to achieve those numbers through additional product innovations and approximately $60 million in capital expenditures in 2020.
Peter Keith, an analyst with Piper Sandler Cos., thinks Sleep Number’s 2020 guidance is reasonable in what has been a favorable market for the mattress industry.
“We credit Sleep Number for executing well and continuing to push innovation that is driving consumer interest/demand,” he wrote in a research note. “New product launches in 2020 with improved features could further help demand.”
Keith maintained his “neutral” rating on Sleep Number stock but raised his 12-month price target.
Sleep Number posted its results after the market closed on Wednesday, and shares rose 6% in Thursday morning trading to $59.99. They closed Thursday at $59.72. Its shares have risen 21% since the start of the year and have traded between $32.53 and $60.72 over the past 52 weeks.