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Ethan Allen cites higher sales, profits in boosting dividend

DANBURY, Conn. — Ethan Allen Interiors has increased its quarterly dividend 29% to 9 cents per share, citing higher sales and profits.

The dividend is payable July 25 to shareholders of record July 10.

"We are gratified that due to our continued growth and increase in sales and earnings our board has authorized this major increase in dividends," Ethan Allen Chairman and CEO Farooq Kathwari said in a release.

Kathwari said the company will show that sales for the fiscal third quarter ended March 31 were up 8% from the same period a year ago. The company is set to release financial results for the period after the market close on Monday.

The Danbury, Conn.-based retailer and manufacturer of midpriced to high-end home furnishings said that because of continued improvements, it expects "to reverse valuation reserves on certain deferred tax assets," which will add about 81 cents per share to earnings.

Excluding that impact, earnings for the quarter are expected to be about 13 cents to 14 cents per share compared with an adjusted 7 cents per share for the third quarter last year, he said.

"In addition, we have continued our major initiative of changing our product programs so that by the end of our fourth quarter ... in just nine months, about 60% of our products will be new," the company said. That effort reduced third quarter results by 4 cents to 5 cents per share, which, if also excluded, would result in earnings per share of 17 to 19, the company said.

Written orders by Ethan Allen's retail division increased by 11% in the third quarter and comparable-store orders grew 8%, Kathwari said.

"While we continue to make major progress, we remain cautiously optimistic as macroeconomic conditions remain uncertain," he said.


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