Bulls and Bears: At LastGood News

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
FLWS 1-800-Flowers.com $10.34 $17.86 $4.75 50.7 (33.7) $507 11.3
BL Blair Corp. 24.70 26.80 16.50 18.6 9.3 561 6.2
CWTR Coldwater Creek 15.5 27.15 11.95 6.3 (26.8) 463 0
HNV Hanover Direct 0.23 0.54 0.18 (12.5) (37.8) 466 43.9
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
MBAY MediaBay 0.90 6.04 0.40 (4.2) 45.2 46 63.2
SPGLA Spiegel 0.53 5.10 0.20 0 (88.4) 3,297 52.5
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
HSIC Henry Schein 41.41 57.73 34.89 (15.2) 11.8 2,776 28.1
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
PCCC PC Connection 7.00 17.79 3.72 20.5 (52.8) 1,143 5.1
MALL PC Mall 4.29 5.10 1.76 25.0 5.7 802 4.1
PFP Premier Farnell 6.85 10.10 4.25 26.2 (21.7) 1,050 74.9
SCHS School Specialty 20.25 29.94 18.45 (18.6) (11.5) 853 52.1
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.50 1.75 0.90 3.5 57.9 100 31.6
TESS Tessco Technologies 10.72 18.96 7.49 25.4 (37.5) 267 20.8
ZONS Zones 1.05 1.92 0.70 (2.0) 32.9 327 5.2
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.

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