Bulls and Bears: Are Happy Days Here Again?

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
FLWS 1-800-Flowers.com $11.81 $12.14 $5.61 12.2% $8.49 8.3%
BL Blair Corp. 25.70 25.83 20.10 10.1 72.47 6.1
CWTR Coldwater Creek 14.21 15.13 5.70 15.2 17.85 0
HNV Hanover Direct 0.24 0.34 0.16 (7.7) 3.13 45.8
JILL J Jill Group 12.82 23.99 9.51 4.3 18.49 9.8
MBAY MediaBay 1.63 1.65 0.60 57.8 3.2 57.5
SPGLQ Spiegel 0.09 0.71 0.03 50.0 21.85 466.8
DIRECT TO BUSINESS
BBOX Black Box Corp. $44.17 $51.16 $25.58 1.7% $27.97 9.3%
CDWC CDW Corp. 59.10 63.65 36.30 (0.7) 50.68 0
HSIC Henry Schein 68.30 70.00 34.17 8.7 70.26 22.5
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
PCCC PC Connection 8.35 13.47 4.69 (14.6) 49.58 4.2
MALL PC Mall 15.27 15.80 2.88 58.4 82.18 39.4
PFP Premier Farnell 9.06 9.55 4.25 4.0 7.08 97.5
SCHS School Speciality 29.00 30.97 17.02 4.2 40.59 47.8
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.90 2.10 1.45 8.8 11.39 38.7
TESS Tessco Technologies 14.80 15.61 6.11 17.8 63.92 10.1
ZONS Zones 1.40 1.80 0.60 17.9 31.88 0.7
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%.

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