|Ticker symbol||Company||Price as of 10/24/03||52-week high||52-week low||% price change last month||Revenue per share T4Q||% total debt/total capital|
|DIRECT TO CONSUMER|
|JILL||J Jill Group||12.82||23.99||9.51||4.3||18.49||9.8|
|DIRECT TO BUSINESS|
|BBOX||Black Box Corp.||$44.17||$51.16||$25.58||1.7%||$27.97||9.3%|
|MSM||MSC Industrial Direct||26.80||28.19||15.65||11.4||12.44||0.3|
|NEB||New England Business Service||29.98||32.00||20.7||3.1||41.31||51.2|
|SSPY||Sport Supply Group||1.90||2.10||1.45||8.8||11.39||38.7|
|Sources: StockVal, Bloomberg|
Optimism about the holiday season, with the National Retail Federation predicting a strong 5.8% growth in sales for 2003, contributed to solid performance among most of the catalog stocks tracked for Catalog Age by Des Moines, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners.
Of the 19 marketers tracked, 16 — or 84% — gained in value in October. Compare that with September, when only 37% of the catalogers could make the same boast.
“The economy is again growing at a pretty healthy pace, and employment is beginning to grow again,” says Financial Advisory Partners’ managing partner Ken Packer. “Direct marketers are enjoying an additional positive this year, which is a continued market share gain at the expense of store-based retail.”
Several catalogers, including apparel and home good mailer Blair Corp. and computer reseller PC Mall, ended the month at close to their 12-month highs. PC Mall also enjoyed the greatest month-to-month gain in terms of percentage, followed closely by audiotape marketer MediaBay.
Computer cataloger PC Connection took the biggest hit in October, ending down nearly 15%. Struggling multititle mailer Hanover Direct and another computer reseller, CDW, were the other stocks to decline in value for the month. But in the case of CDW, its shares fell less than 1%.