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SAN FRANCISCO-Williams-Sonoma posted a Q3 year-over-year same-store sales jump of 4.4% across its chains, though the results among them were mixed. Additionally, executives were cautious about the company’s Q4, citing higher fuel and utility costs.

Williams-Sonoma’s diluted earnings per share popped up 29.2%, to 31 cents, during the quarter, which ended Oct. 30. Net sales rose 14.5%, to $827.6 million, driven by the retailer’s Pottery Barn, West Elm, Pottery Barn Kids and Williams-Sonoma chains.

Same-store sales at Williams-Sonoma’s 15 outlet stores led the company, with a 16% leap. Pottery Barn’s 188 units rose 5.5%, while Pottery Barn Kids’ 88 stores were up 3.8%. The 256 Williams-Sonoma stores crept up 1.3%. The company’s 11 Hold Everything organizational stores plunged 7.4%.

Meanwhile, the company is slowly rolling out its new chains, which executive call “emerging brands.” Williams-Sonoma opened its first three William-Sonoma Home units during the quarter, in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Los Angeles. The company opened one West Elm store, an urban home-furnishings concept, bringing the chain to eight units. “Over time, West Elm has the potential to become one of our largest brands,” said company CEO Ed Mueller on the retailer’s quarterly conference call.

However, the expansion of these new brands draw a “significant drain” on the company’s pretax operating margins, explains Sharon McCollam, William’s Sonoma’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. This mixed with higher costs prompts company officials to remain conservative about future earnings, she says.

As a result, executives dropped the company’s Q4 earnings-per-share guidance to between $1.07 and $1.09 from the previous forecast of $1.07 to $1.11. However, the retailer’s same-store guidance of 3% to 5% remains intact.

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