Sleep Number Corp. now has its full lineup of its new 360 Smart Bed in stores and is poised to leverage the inventory and its NFL partnership announced at this year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis to drive sales and open more stores.
CEO Shelly Ibach told analysts on the Minneapolis-based company’s second-quarter earnings conference call that the company would add 40 new stores in the second half of the year. It now has about 585 stores.
The latest addition to the 360 brand is the C2 model priced at $999. It now gives Sleep Number “good, better, best pricing” of its innovative 360 Smart Bed, which responds automatically to the user throughout the night. The C2 bed is also priced more competitively as a low-priced bed-in-a-box and imported mattresses become a bigger part of the marketplace.
The second-quarter results, reported after the market closed Wednesday, were in line with or better than expectations. However, shares dropped 5 percent Thursday after an analyst covering the company downgraded shares.
Peter Keith, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, cited the increasing low-end competition as one of the reasons he changed his recommendation on Thursday. Keith moved Sleep Number to “neutral” and lowered his 12-month price target to $33 per share.
“Despite a revolutionary product-line refresh, sales trends remain surprisingly sluggish,” Keith wrote. “This may be the result of escalating competition from low-price import mattresses and, if so, this dynamic is unlikely to change in any notable fashion.”
Sleep Number’s second quarter is generally its slowest. However, at $316.3 million, sales were up 11.1 percent over the same period a year ago. Net income was $3.7 million, or 10 cents per share, after the company lost money a year ago.
Adjusted earnings were 2 cents per share, and the adjusted earnings and sales were both at or above analysts’ expectations.
Sleep Number reiterated its guidance for 2018 earnings to be in the $1.70 to $2 per share range and projected a mid- to single-digit sales growth rate.
Shares of Sleep Number closed Thursday at $29.33. Shares for the past 52 weeks have traded in the range of $27.10 to $40.72 per share.