Bulls and Bears: A Steady Climb

Ticker symbol Company Price as of 7/01/03 52-week high 52-week low % price change last month Revenue per share T4Q % total debt/total capital
DIRECT TO CONSUMER
FLWS 1-800-Flowers.com $8.24 $11.30 $4.75 0.5% $8.18 11.3%
BL Blair Corp. 21.12 26.80 18.25 4.7% 70.96 6.1
CWTR Coldwater Creek 12.91 17.05 7.97 (0.1) 29.78 0
HNV Hanover Direct 0.27 0.35 0.16 40.0 3.26 45.8
JILL J. Jill Group 16.64 27.50 9.51 9.8 17.66 9.8
LVC Lillian Vernon Corp. 7.23 7.23 3.65 1% 28.49 0
MBAY MediaBay 0.75 4.90 0.64 (7.7) 3.39 63.2
SPGLA Spiegel 0.08 0.11 0.05 (25.0) 22.53 466.8
DIRECT TO BUSINESS
BBOX Black Box Corp. $37.36 $51.39 $25.58 (2.9%) $29.68 13.9%
CDWC CDW Corp. 46.07 56.58 36.30 12.5 48.92 0
HSIC Henry Schein 52.81 57.73 34.17 6.8 64.82 22.5
MSM MSC Industrial Direct 17.34 20.23 9.30 (5.7) 12.01 0.3
NEB New England Business Service 29.21 30.15 19.99 11.2 40.68 52.4
PCCC PC Connection 7.12 10.82 3.72 (7.5) 49.82 4.2
MALL PC Mall 4.25 4.65 1.76 19.4 81.59 39.4
PFP Premier Farnell 6.85 7.89 4.25 9.9 7.84 74.9
SCHS School Specialty 28.03 28.83 17.03 33.3 40.08 52.1
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.85 2.10 1.28 5.6 11.41 31.6
TESS Tessco Technologies 6.81 13.09 6.25 (6.5) 60.45 20.8
ZONS Zones 1.11 1.60 0.60 0 30.27 0.7
Sources: StockVal, Bloomberg

Both the publicly traded consumer catalogers tracked and their business-to-business counterparts outperformed the S&P 500 in June. Granted, the S&P rose a scant 1.1% for the month, but an increase is an increase.

The eight consumer catalogers tracked for Catalog Age by Financial Advisory Partners enjoyed a collective 3.0% rise in stock value. Multititle mailer Hanover Direct helped buoy the average with its 40% lift in stock price. Given where the parent company of The Company Store and Domestications had been trading, though, that 40% surge translated to lifting Hanover’s stock price to…$0.27 a share. As we said earlier, though, an increase is an increase. Two other consumer marketers, gifts and home goods merchant 1-800-Flowers.com and women’s apparel cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group, benefited from a nearly 10% boost in share price.

The 12 b-to-b catalogers tracked saw shares rise an average of 6.3%. Educational supplies marketer School Specialty led the pack with a 33% gain, bringing its stock price near its 52-week high. Other big gainers were PC Mall (up 19%), CDW (nearly 13%), and New England Business Service (NEBS; up more than 11%).

“With a higher mix of fixed costs than store-based retailers, these [b-to-b] companies are likely to show sharp profit gains as the economy continues to improve,” says Ken Packer, managing partner of Waukee, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners.

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