Sealy narrows 4Q loss as mattress sales grow

TRINITY, N.C. (AP) -- Sealy Corp. narrowed its fiscal fourth-quarter loss as mattresses sales improved from last year and beat market expectations.

The company, based in Trinity, N.C., is one of the largest bedding brands in the world, with mattress lines such as Sealy Posturepedic and Stearns & Foster. It has been dealing with intense competition in the industry as mattress makers increased their marketing and promotions to help lure cost-conscious consumers into making big purchases.

Sealy, which is being bought by rival Tempur-Pedic Inc. for about $228.6 million, said after the market closed Wednesday that the quarter's results indicate that it is working in the right direction.

The company posted a loss of $2.8 million, or 3 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 2. This is compared with a loss of $15.2 million, or 15 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

After adjusting for restructuring expenses, costs associated with the Tempur-Pedic deal and other one-time items, Sealy said it earned 4 cents per share in its latest quarter.

The company's revenue increased 33 percent to $358.1 million from $269.3 million, helped by an extra week in the quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to post a loss of 2 cents per share on revenue of $286.8 million.

Sealy also said strong sales of its higher-priced Optimum by Sealy Posturepedic and Next Generation Stearns & Foster lines helped boost U.S. results. Its international sales increased on strong sales in Canada, Mexico and South America.

The company's stock closed regular trading at $2.18, unchanged for the day.

Sealy's stock had jumped about 38 percent in the three weeks before the Tempur-Pedic deal was announced in late September, but has remained fairly level since.

The acquisition is still under regulatory review but was originally expected to close in the first half of 2013.