|Ticker symbol||Company||Price as of 12/2/02||52-week high||52-week low||% price change last month||% price change year to date||Revenue per share T4Q||% total debt/total capital|
|DIRECT TO CONSUMER|
|JILL||J. Jill Group||24.05||27.50||12.00||7.8||67.6||332||13.5|
|LVC||Lillian Vernon Corp.||4.42||8.25||4.20||3||(33.5)||256||0|
|DIRECT TO BUSINESS|
|BBOX||Black Box Corp.||$50.38||$58.77||$28.02||18.1||(4.7)||$657||13.9|
|CDWC||CDW Computer Centers||50.66||60.00||40.25||(3.9)||(5.7)||4,199||0|
|MSM||MSC Industrial Direct||17.87||24.36||9.30||36.8||(9.5)||794||0.4|
|NEB||New England Business Service||23.07||29.31||17.70||(1.2)||20.5||553||52.4|
|SSPY||Sport Supply Group||1.50||1.75||0.90||3.5||57.9||100||31.6|
|Source: Financial Advisory Partners and company filings|
“The [November] performance for both consumer and business direct marketing stocks is in positive territory for a change,” says Ken Packer, managing partner of Des Moines, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners.
Of the 20 publicly traded catalogers tracked by Financial Advisory Partners for Catalog Age, only 30% suffered a drop in stock value through November. In October, 75% of the stocks lost value. The biggest winners of the month were multititle gifts marketer 1-800-Flowers.com (up 51%) and industrial products cataloger MSC Industrial Direct (up 37%). Both companies remain down for the year to date, though.
“Stocks were helped by a better tone to the economy overall and some early indications that consumers would in fact show up Christmas,” Packer says. “We also saw last month the resurgence of market share gains by direct marketers vs. traditional store-based retailers.” Such gains, a result of an overall increase in catalog circulation for the first time in more than a year, could be “a sign of a better economy ahead,” he adds.
Catalogers could use that ray of hope: Year to date, just 40% of the companies tracked have seen their stock prices rise. Women’s apparel cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group enjoyed the greatest gains, with its stock value up 68% for the year to date. Sport Supply Group, which sells athletic equipment to institutions and organizations, performed strongly as well; its value rose 58% for the year.