The Michaels Companies (MIK)
Q3 2017 Antithesis Appointment Call
November 30, 2017 9:00 am ET
Chuck Rubin – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Denise Paulonis – Chief Banking Officer
Kiley Rawlins – Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications
Matt Fassler – Goldman Sachs
Steve Forbes – Guggenheim Securities
Christopher Horvers – JP Morgan
Joshua Siber – Morgan Stanley
Curt Nagle – Bank of America
Mike Baker – Deutsche Bank
Seth Sigman – Acclaim Suisse
Dan Wewer – Raymond James
Alan Rifkin – BTIG
Good morning. My name is Rachel and I will be your appointment abettor for today. At this time, we would like to acceptable anybody to the Michaels Company’s third analysis antithesis appointment call. All curve accept been placed on aphasiac to ahead any accomplishments noise. If you charge abetment during the appointment call, amuse columnist brilliant again aught and an abettor will abetment you. Amuse agenda this accident is actuality recorded. Acknowledge you.
Now I’d like to about-face the alarm over to your host, Kiley Rawlins, Vice President of Investor Relations and Communications. Ms. Rawlins, you may activate the conference.
Thank you, Rachel. Acceptable morning anybody and acknowledge you for abutting us today. Beforehand this morning, we appear our third analysis banking results. A archetype of the columnist absolution is accessible on the Investor Relations area of our website at www.michaels.com.
Before we activate our discussion, let me admonish you that today’s columnist absolution and the presentations fabricated by our admiral on this alarm may aggregate advanced statements and are fabricated pursuant to and aural the acceptation of the Safe Harbor accoutrement of the Clandestine Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. While these statements abode affairs or contest which we apprehend will or may action in the future, a cardinal of factors as set alternating in our SEC filings and columnist releases could account absolute after-effects to alter materially from our expectations. We accredit you to and accurately absorb the cautionary and accident statements independent in today’s columnist absolution and in our SEC filings. You are cautioned not to abode disproportionate assurance on these advanced statements, which allege alone as of today, November 30, 2017. We accept no obligation to amend or alter our advanced statements except as appropriate by law, and you should not apprehend us to do so.
In today’s antithesis release, we accept presented non-GAAP banking measures such as adapted operating income, adapted net income, and adapted adulterated antithesis per share. Adapted operating income, adapted net income, and adapted adulterated antithesis per allotment for commensurable periods in 2016 accept been presented to reflect our appearance of advancing operations by adjusting for aftermost year’s non-recurring inventory-related acquirement accounting adjustments and non-recurring affiliation costs and allowances associated with the February 2016 accretion of Lamrite West, as able-bodied as losses on aboriginal concealment of debt and refinancing costs beneath accompanying tax adjustments. A adaptation of these measures to the agnate GAAP measures can be activate in today’s antithesis release.
Our alarm today will activate with highlights from Chuck Rubin, Chairman and CEO, and again Denise Paulonis, our CFO will assay our banking after-effects and angle in added detail. Following our able remarks, we will accessible the alarm for questions. As a reminder, we’d acknowledge it if participants could absolute themselves to one catechism and one follow-up.
I’ll now about-face the alarm over to Chuck. Chuck?
Thank you, Kiley. Acceptable morning anybody and blessed holidays. This morning, I’ll assay some highlights of our Q3 achievement and again accord an amend on our affairs for the fourth quarter.
Starting with the third quarter, this morning we appear sales and operating assets that were aural our advice for the analysis aback we acclimatize for the disruptions from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and adulterated antithesis per allotment that were hardly aloft our antecedent guidance. We appraisal the hurricanes abnormally impacted net sales by about $10 actor and adulterated EPS by about $0.01.
For the quarter, commensurable abundance sales added 1% or 0.5% on a connected bill abject across-the-board of sales absent due to the hurricanes. We appraisal the hurricanes impacted added than 100 food and resulted in added than 400 absent abundance days, impacting all-embracing comps in the analysis by an estimated 80 abject points. Excluding the estimated appulse of the hurricanes, commensurable abundance sales added 1.8% or 1.3% on a connected bill basis.
In accession to the appulse on sales, Blow Irma additionally acquired disruption in our Jacksonville, Florida administration centermost both in accepting shipments into the ability as able-bodied as in aircraft account out to stores. Our teams reacted bound and formed adamantine to get aback on track. Thankfully our aggregation associates are safe and our food accomplished basal acreage damage. I am acutely appreciative of the way our aggregation associates formed calm to abutment barter in blow impacted communities. Our food hosted abundant chargeless contest to accommodate fun distractions for families displaced by the hurricanes, and our agent accident fund, Michaels Cares, provided abutment for added than 400 afflicted Michaels’ aggregation members. My centermost acknowledgment to the committed aggregation associates and acreage administration aggregation who formed endlessly to reopen food and advice their bounded communities antithesis from the storms.
Geographically, Canada was the best assuming arena in the quarter, carrying connected bill comps of about 5%. This able achievement includes the appulse of headwinds we accomplished appear the end of the analysis which we accept is accompanying to the Sears Canada defalcation process. Recently, we accept apparent some stabilization but sales trends may abide to be airy until the sales defalcation is complete. We did see agnate sales trends aback Ambition exited the Canadian bazaar in 2015.
In the United States, atone achievement was adequately connected beyond regions with the barring of areas impacted by the hurricanes.
From a artefact chic standpoint, seasonal, cardboard crafting and kids delivered the arch sales in the quarter. Halloween sales were able adjoin aftermost year, apprenticed by accession and exclusives. We additionally saw some account in the analysis from the acknowledgment to our Christmas assortment, which was set in food and online beforehand than aftermost year. Sales after-effects in the cardboard crafting chic connected to reflect the acceptance of new technology, including the Cricut Maker in the afresh alien Accessible Columnist and Bright Pad, as able-bodied as able advance in the activity abstracts acclimated with these devices, including our broadcast array of iron-ons and vinyls. Planters and accumulator were additionally acceptable standouts in the quarter. Our kids chic additionally delivered absolute comps in the analysis apprenticed abundantly by academy projects and the connected acceptance of Slime.
As expected, custom anatomy underperformed for the quarter. This quarter, we active the architecture collections and alien added tiered appraisement to accredit barter to accomplish their adapted amount credibility added easily. In addition, we abide to assay assorted administration and assembly models which admission focus on the affairs attributes of this aerial blow transaction. It is still early, but we are starting to see some absolute appulse from these changes.
Turning now to our online sales, while still a actual baby allotment of our all-embracing business, our advance connected to advance this analysis as expected. Online sales in Q3 were about bifold the akin of online sales in Q3 aftermost year, apprenticed by added cartage and college about-face rates. As we accept ahead stated, we abide to accept that it is awful absurd that ecommerce will abound to be a bifold chiffre assimilation of sales in this access as it is for abounding added retail formats. The concrete attributes of the product, the accepted abridgement of civic brands, and a low boilerplate amount point accomplish this access beneath adorable to authentic comedy online platforms; however, we do accept ecommerce is an important accompaniment to our brick and adhesive experience, and while our accepted assimilation charcoal actual low, we abide to accept that our ecommerce assimilation will abound to be in the mid to high distinct chiffre ambit of our absolute sales over the abutting several years.
In summary, we are about admiring with our Q3 performance. We delivered absolute atone advance in our Michaels brick and adhesive stores, we angled our Michaels.com business, and chiefly we delivered college operating accumulation dollars apprenticed primarily by bigger artefact margins. Operating assets in the analysis added 5% to $154 million, in band with our guidance, and adulterated EPS added 19% to $0.44, hardly aloft our expectations. Denise will accommodate added blush on the P&L in a few moments.
Now axis to the fourth quarter, we are able-bodied positioned to abide this momentum. We accept the largest, arch anniversary array we accept anytime offered, both online and in stores. We accept a acute business plan to acquaint the amount and solutions we action and we accept fabricated actual enhancements to bigger articulation our concrete stores, agenda storefronts and agenda applications into a added chip arcade acquaintance to accomplish it easier for barter to make.
Starting with our anniversary assortment, we’re authoritative it easier for barter to bless the analysis with added accession and absolute product, in-store and online presentations that are easier to shop, and able and bright amount messaging. We accept broadcast our alternative of anniversary décor and gifts, creating the largest, arch anniversary array we accept anytime offered both online and in stores. We accept broadcast our Christmas timberline alternative to accommodate added pencil trees, added mini trees, and an bogus timberline that absolutely grows. We accept added our array of glass, collectible and DIY ornaments and we accept added our array of home and tabletop décor to reflect absolute designs accessible alone at Michaels. We accept additionally adequate our alternative of artistic ability for kids and adults which we ahead will animate barter to unplug from their accessories and accurate their adroitness in new ways.
On Michaels.com, we’ve broadcast our array by about 30% to accommodate added of the melancholia and amount basal articles that are accessible in our brick and adhesive store, as able-bodied as added online-only SKUs as allotment of our [indiscernible] alley efforts. Additionally important to agenda is that abaft the scenes, we accept been diversifying how we bear artefact to barter to advance the chump acquaintance and ultimately abate our accomplishment costs. Let me accommodate a bit added detail on this.
When we launched ecommerce in 2014, our antecedence was speed. To get the functionality up quickly, we focused on a bound array and outsourced accomplishment to a third party. Over the accomplished brace of years we accept added Abode from All Michaels Administration Centers and alien added bell-ringer bead ship. This year, we accept broadcast our capabilities aback we launched Abode From Abundance in hundreds of geographically assorted Michaels stores, enabling us to advantage store-level inventory, bear online orders to barter faster, and bigger ascendancy our accomplishment costs. For those barter who appetite their purchases sooner, we accept added in-store account afterimage to Michaels.com and are currently testing Buy Online Pick-Up In Abundance in a cardinal of markets. Our learnings on BOPIS this anniversary analysis will abutment a chain-wide rollout in all food in 2018. Finally, barter can buy online and acknowledgment to any Michaels abundance today. With all of these enhancements, we are abbreviation our assurance on third affair accomplishment casework and are able-bodied on our way to accepting added than 50% of online orders accomplished through our own channels. Again, this will abate our accomplishment costs and accommodate faster commitment to our customers.
In accession to accretion our array of décor and gifts, we’ve additionally bigger our in-store presentations to accomplish the artefact easier for barter to boutique and easier for our teams to restock and recover. With a focus on accuracy and simplification, we accept added key account presentations, cleaner signage, added automated packaging, and fixturing that allows barter to blow the product. Online, we accept fabricated investments to accomplish it easier for barter to navigate, chase and ultimately acquirement on Michaels.com, including new chase as you blazon functionality, bigger clarification capabilities, and new messaging for artefact recommendations.
We apperceive that amount continues to be important to the customer, abnormally during the anniversary season, and we accept taken added accomplish to reinforce the ethics we offer. In accession to alms our low amount agreement and accustomed amount program, this anniversary analysis we’re leveraging added alike dollar amount credibility on drive alley accessories and end caps to acutely acquaint the ethics we offer, and new this year we’ve alien a array of allowance with acquirement programs.
To acquaint all these improvements to customers, we are leveraging television, book and agenda platforms with a focus on alms barter solutions while additionally continuing to reinforce our value, trend leadership, and omni-channel benefits. A year ago, we launched Make, an chip cast attack advised to advantage the growing chump trends of DIY and personalization while additionally accession Michaels in a added abreast light. Our ambition was to differentiate the Michaels brand, augment our reach, and drive added chump engagement. Back Q3 of aftermost year, we accept created eight make-off videos with celebrity makers absorbing added than 65 actor viewers. We accept appear 33 Facebook Live videos application our own experts as able-bodied as key influencers to highlight trends and Michaels exclusives, and we accept hosted 13 integrations with the ABC morning program, Acceptable Morning America to appearance that authoritative can be fun and fast.
Our cast metrics and chump abstracts advance that these investments are carrying antecedent results. Our top of apperception and abandoned acquaintance has added and our CRM assay suggests that we are auspiciously active added arcade abundance with our amount absolute customers, consistent in actual advantageous atone increases for this accumulation of customers. While we accept fabricated progress, we apperceive we accept befalling to abduction and absorb added new customers. Recognizing that the anniversary analysis is a big befalling to allure these new customers, we are introducing new business cartage and accretion our in-store adventures to drive added chump engagement.
We abide to aggrandize our all-encompassing chump database and today we can analyze 70% of affairs to a specific chump adjoin 65% a year ago. The advance of our Michaels Rewards affairs has been an basic contributor to this growth. Today, added than 21 actor barter are enrolled in Michaels Rewards compared to aloof 10 actor at the end of the third analysis aftermost year. As we arch into the anniversary season, we intend to advantage the insights from this abstracts to adapt our messaging and ambition promotional offers to drive sales while attention gross accumulation dollars.
This anniversary season, we accept alien new business cartage to appoint the amateur and new customer, including a new anniversary décor adviser that highlights both pre-made décor collections as able-bodied as activity account for barter who would adopt to DIY. We’ve additionally alien new Allowance With Acquirement promotions to drive cartage and boilerplate transaction values, and we accept added our use of agenda chase to drive cartage to Michaels.com and abutment our anniversary messaging. We are additionally accretion our absolute Accomplish Breaks in stores, giving added barter added opportunities to try simple projects and accomplish for themselves. So far this year, added than 1.3 actor barter accept alternate in a kids club, Accomplish Break or added structured class, all of this apery an admission of 56% over the aboriginal nine months of 2016 in barter demography some affectionate of event-based chic at a Michaels store.
Finally, the advance we accept fabricated to articulation our concrete stores, agenda storefronts and agenda applications into a added chip arcade acquaintance continues to advance and we accept positions us able-bodied to body on the drive we saw in Q3. In August, we launched our new Michaels app to added finer affix our brick and adhesive and online experience. With this refresh, we’ve fabricated it easier for barter to adapt projects, administer arcade lists, administer coupons, accompany Michaels Rewards, and ultimately accomplish a purchase. With added than 50,000 SKUs in an alone store, we apperceive award specific items for a assertive activity can be difficult. Application the app’s store-specific way finding, we can now absolute a chump to an exact alley aural her accurate abundance to advice her accretion absolutely what she needs to complete her project. We’ve afresh added advice about account availability, so if the account she is attractive for isn’t in her store, she can chase adjacent food to actuate added in-stock availability. This new functionality has additionally been able-bodied accustomed by Michaels aggregation associates who can admission the app on an in-store handheld device, enabling them to advice added barter and drive added conversion.
We accept additionally afresh added beacons in all our food to abutment added alone interactions with customers. Aback in abundance mode, the app will acceptable the chump to the abundance and will automatically amend the advice to reflect that specific store’s layout, array and account levels. Barter are responding actual able-bodied to this new functionality and accouterment abundant feedback. Our account app downloads are averaging added than bifold the clip of aftermost year and we’re seeing added chump assurance with about alert as abounding different users application the app anniversary anniversary aback compared to aftermost year. We’re decidedly aflame that added barter are assuming absorption in arcade and projects adjoin alone coupons.
Even as we assignment to position Michaels food and Michaels.com for a acceptable anniversary season, we are additionally advance in added platforms that body on our industry-leading capabilities and actualize new opportunities to appoint with customers. Two examples of these efforts are framerspoint.com and consumercrafts.com. At the end of the third quarter, we launched framerspoint.com. This online framing band-aid targets the access akin custom anatomy chump who wants a low cost, accessible way to anatomy agenda assets, including claimed photos or a alternative from our library of added than 10,000 art prints. With the efficiencies provided by our ability division, our chip custom anatomy manufacturer, framerspoint.com offers barter a alternative of different frames with a simple, competitive, accustomed low appraisement approach.
We additionally afresh active and re-launched consumercrafts.com, an EDLP consumer-facing website we acquired as allotment of the Lamrite West acquisition. With a focus on amount crafting categories, consumercrafts.com provides us with a stronger belvedere to attempt adjoin added EDLP competitors in the online space. Leveraging the backbone of our artefact development capabilities, we accept angled the array accessible on the site, abacus new Darice and Michaels developed artefact and active the attending and feel to accomplish it added ambrosial to customers. Additionally, we are advance in new agenda business abutment to drive cartage to the site. While we do not apprehend consumercrafts.com to be as ample as Michaels.com, we are encouraged by the chump acknowledgment to the enhancements we accept made.
Finally, I’d like to accord you an amend on our Lamrite West operations. Aback we acquired Lamrite West in 2016, we adumbrated that the transaction accurate our Vision 2020 action in three key ways: one, Darice’s able artefact development capabilities would accredit us to admission exclusives and aggrandize our all-embracing portfolio of clandestine cast products; two, with an accustomed admitting baby sourcing basement in China, we would advance our absolute sourcing efforts, thereby accretion affection and abbreviation costs; and assuredly three, the accession of Pat Catan food and Darice’s broad operations would abutment our efforts to abound new businesses.
In the 18 months back we completed the acquisition, we accept fabricated advance in anniversary of these areas. We accept launched new absolute collaborations with Martha Stewart and Disney and broadcast our accord with David Tutera Wedding. Both the Martha Stewart as able-bodied as David Tutera assortments, you will see broadcast assortments in 2018 in the Michaels chain. We accept broadcast our sourcing operations to accommodate added than 100 aggregation associates in China, Hong Kong and Dallas, leveraging our admeasurement and calibration in new means to abutment our absolute sourcing efforts and bear allowance expansion. We accept acclimated Pat Catan to assay new assortments and presentations in baddest categories, including bolt and party, with basal accident and chump disruption, and on the B2B ancillary we accept connected to aggrandize and alter the chump abject by abacus new customers.
However, as we discussed on the aftermost call, the sales aeon for this B2B business is best than we initially hoped, and we accept apparent some accepted abrasion in some bequest accounts. We abide actual focused on accepting new barter alfresco the big box arts and crafts access and we’re leveraging new accoutrement and processes to advance how we administer these efforts.
In summary, the third analysis was a acceptable analysis excluding the babble created by the hurricanes. The investments we’re authoritative in abutment of Vision 2020, our abiding advance strategy, are accepting absorption and carrying results. We are admiring with the drive we are seeing in the business and we’re aflame about our affairs for the anniversary season.
Now let me about-face the alarm over to Denise for a added abundant altercation of our banking achievement and our fourth analysis outlook. Denise?
Thanks, and acceptable morning. Third analysis net sales added 1.1% to $1.24 billion. As we adumbrated in the antithesis release, we appraisal that the blow appulse aching net sales by about $10 million. Atone abundance sales added 1% or 0.5% on a connected bill abject across-the-board of about 80 abject credibility of appulse from the hurricane. Aback adjusting for this impact, our all-embracing atone sales achievement of 1.8% or 1.3% on a connected bill abject was aural our aboriginal Q3 advice range. The admission in net sales was primarily due to the admission in commensurable abundance sales and the operation of three net added food opened back the third analysis of 2016.
The commensurable abundance sales admission was apprenticed by an admission in boilerplate admission which was partially account by a slight abatement in chump transactions. We accept the disruption from the hurricanes abnormally impacted transaction counts during the quarter. Excluding the appulse of the hurricane, we appraisal that affairs were hardly positive. The net new abundance cardinal includes 18 new Michaels stores, one new Aaron Brothers store, and one new Pat Catan store, which was account by 15 Aaron Brothers abundance closings and two Michaels abundance closings during the 12 months back the third analysis of budgetary 2016.
As expected, these increases were partially account by lower broad revenue. As Chuck discussed, the acquirement abatement in our broad business reflects timing differences accompanying to new chump accretion and the accepted abrasion of bequest customers. While the sales aeon is demography best than we expected, we are encouraged by what we see in the sales pipeline.
Gross accumulation dollars for the analysis grew 4% to $484 actor and our gross accumulation amount for the analysis added 100 abject credibility to 39% of sales adjoin 38% of sales in the third analysis aftermost year. The admission in the third analysis gross accumulation amount was primarily a aftereffect of our admission in artefact allowance apprenticed by allowances from our advancing sourcing efforts. Additionally, we saw bashful account from the timing of administration accompanying costs and the allegory adjoin $700,000 of net non-recurring inventory-related acquirement accounting adjustments recorded aftermost year accompanying to the accretion of Lamrite West. These allowances were partially account by college account shrinkage.
Our sourcing efforts, including both our assignment to abate artefact amount as able-bodied as leveraging our China appointment and our efforts to buy added absolute from branch are carrying actual amount savings. We accept the 2017 account of our sourcing assignment will be at the lower end of the $40 actor to $50 actor ambit we aggregate aback we started the year, apprenticed abundantly by sales mix and seasonality. We admit the account of these accumulation as we advertise through the account and we apprehend the butt of the account will about-face into 2018.
As a reminder, agnate to our sourcing benefit, we admit accumulation alternation costs aback artefact is sold. During the quarter, the bashful account from the timing of distribution-related costs was apprenticed by lower all-embracing bales ante adjourned aftermost year. Of note, in the added bisected of this year we accept accomplished some accumulation alternation headwinds that we ahead will breeze through our P&L in aboriginal 2018. As Chuck mentioned, we incurred some abrupt accumulation alternation costs accompanying to blow disruption to our Jacksonville DC. Additionally, we accept accomplished college calm and all-embracing busline costs as accommodation has tightened.
Overall, our account compress as a percent of sales charcoal low; however, this year we accept apparent compress admission as compared to aftermost year. As we accept ahead discussed, we’re demography accomplish to abode the trend including investments in new accessories and fixtures, but anchored in our anniversary advice is an apprehension that compress will abide a headwind.
Total abundance hire amount for the analysis was $100 actor adjoin $98 actor aftermost year with the admission primarily due to a net 16 added Michaels stores. Selling, accepted and authoritative amount in the quarter, including abundance pre-opening costs, added 3% to $330 actor compared to $320 actor in the analysis aftermost year. As a percent of sales, SG&A amount added 50 abject credibility to 26.6% of sales compared to 26.1% of sales in the third analysis aftermost year. The admission in SG&A amount as compared to aftermost year was primarily due to an admission in accrued incentive-based compensation. Recall that in the third analysis aftermost year, we saw a $14 actor abridgement in accrued allurement based compensation. In addition, this year we had incremental business advance and college healthcare costs accompanying to college claims. These increases were partially account by the anniversarying of about $1.6 actor of affiliation costs recorded in the third analysis of budgetary 2016 accompanying to the accretion of Lamrite West. As a result, operating assets added 5% to $154 actor or 12.4% of sales, in band with our antecedent advice for the quarter.
For the quarter, absorption amount was $33 million, about $1 actor college than the third analysis of aftermost year. This admission was primarily due to college absorption ante on both our ABL and appellation accommodation acclaim ability and a college boilerplate antithesis on our ABL during the quarter. The able tax amount for the analysis was 34.3% compared to 29% in the third analysis aftermost year. The admission in the able tax amount was primarily a aftereffect of anniversarying a account in the third analysis aftermost year from detached items accompanying to a assertive federal tax credit. We additionally accomplished college accompaniment taxes in the analysis this year. These increases were partially account by the account from our all-around sourcing initiative, which has bargain our circumscribed able tax rate. As we’ve ahead discussed, our all-around sourcing operations accord us added ascendancy over the accomplishment action and an befalling to admit lower costs and bear alike added amount to our customers.
Reflecting the appulse of these factors, we delivered net assets for the analysis of $80 actor or $0.44 per adulterated accepted allotment based on 182 actor adulterated abounding boilerplate accepted shares outstanding. We appraisal the abrogating EPS appulse of the disruptions from the hurricanes was about $0.01.
Now axis to the antithesis sheet, absolute commodity account at the end of the analysis was $1.4 billion, up hardly from the end of the third analysis aftermost year. On a per-store basis, account levels were bottomward about 1% compared to aftermost year. We feel acceptable about our in-stock levels for the anniversary season.
Our clamminess position charcoal strong. At the end of the quarter, banknote on the antithesis area was $177 million, absolute debt was $2.9 billion, and our blaster availability was $676 million.
Capital expenditures for the analysis were $30 million, bringing our absolute through the aboriginal nine months of the year to $73 million. Based on changes in activity timing, we now apprehend that basic expenditures for 2017 will be about $120 million.
Finally, we abide to advance our able banknote breeze and antithesis area to acknowledgment amount to shareholders. In the third quarter, we purchased 2.4 actor shares for about $48.6 actor as allotment of our ahead appear allotment repurchase program. Agenda that the third analysis banknote breeze account includes about $11 actor for shares purchased in Q2 that acclimatized in Q3. Given the timing of purchases, the EPS account was basal to the third quarter. At the end of this quarter, we had about $350 actor larboard beneath the accepted repurchase authorization. As a reminder, the allotment repurchase affairs does not accept an cessation date and the timing and cardinal of repurchase affairs beneath the affairs will depend on bazaar conditions, accumulated considerations, debt agreements and authoritative requirements.
As we about-face to the antithesis of the year, we’ve adapted our advice to reflect our Q3 after-effects and our expectations for Q4, including a added favorable Canadian barter rate. For clay purposes, we now apprehend the Canadian barter amount will boilerplate $1.29 for the abounding year. Any changes from this acceptance will accept an appulse on our results.
For budgetary 2017, we accept anchored our sales advice and now apprehend net sales to admission amid 2.9% and 3.2%. This advice is based on the apprehension that atone abundance sales will admission 0.6% to 0.9%, or 0.4% to 0.7% on a connected bill basis. As a reminder, budgetary 2017 is a 53-week year and the sales appulse of the 53rd week, a non-comp week, is planned to be about $80 million.
We now ahead operating assets will be amid $735 actor and $745 million. This advice now includes the accepted account of about $40 actor in sourcing allowances which I discussed beforehand and the headwind of anniversarying a $46 actor abatement in accrued performance-based advantage in 2016. We abide to plan for absorption amount to be about $130 actor and the able tax amount to be amid 34% and 35% for the abounding year.
Based on these expectations, we apprehend that adulterated EPS will be in the ambit of $2.13 to $2.16 based on about 186 actor adulterated abounding boilerplate accepted shares for the abounding year. As ahead discussed, this advice does not contemplate any abeyant changes to the Aaron Brothers business.
Now axis to Q4, we ahead atone abundance sales will admission amid 1.5% and 2.5%, or 1% to 2% on a connected bill basis. We additionally plan to accessible one new Michaels abundance and abutting four Aaron Brothers food during the fourth quarter. We apprehend operating assets for the analysis will be amid $354 actor and $364 million. This advice reflects our apprehension for connected account from our sourcing efforts. Additionally as a reminder, SG&A in the fourth analysis aftermost year benefited from a give-back of about $28 actor accompanying to accrued performance-based compensation. Based on these expectations, our Q4 advice for absolutely adulterated antithesis per accepted allotment is $1.15 to $1.18, based on a adulterated abounding boilerplate accepted allotment calculation of 182 million.
In closing, we are admiring with our achievement this quarter. Excluding the disruption from the hurricanes, we are seeing nice drive in our business both online and in stores, and our efforts to admission absolute sourcing, abate artefact costs and administer promotions helped to account accepted headwinds from accrued allurement advantage and added business investments. The aftereffect was nice operating allowance amplification and EPS growth.
With that, I’d like to accessible the alarm to booty your questions. Rachel?
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