Bulls and Bears: Cause for Optimism?

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 $7.15 $17.86 $4.75 50.7 (54.2) $507 11.3
BL Blair Corp. 22.85 26.80 16.50 18.6 1.1 561 6.2
CWTR Coldwater Creek 20.12 25.57 11.95 6.3 (5.0) 475 0
HNV Hanover Direct 0.19 0.54 0.16 (12.5) (48.7) 466 43.9
JILL J. Jill Group 14.45 27.50 12.73 7.8 0.7 332 13.5
LVC Lillian Vernon Corp. 3.80 8.25 3.65 3.0 (42.9) 247 0
MBAY MediaBay 1.12 6.04 0.53 (4.2) 80.7 46 63.2
SPGLA Spiegel (CL A) 0.49 5.10 0.20 (16.4) (89.2) 3,297 52.5
DIRECT TO BUSINESS
BBOX Black Box Corp. $44.25 $55.87 $28.02 18.1 (16.3) $657 13.9
CDWC CDW Computer Centers 43.77 60.00 40.25 (3.9) (18.5) 4,199 0
HSIC Henry Schein 44.53 57.73 34.89 (15.2) 20.3 2,776 28.1
MSM MSC Industrial Direct 17.20 24.36 9.30 36.8 (12.9) 794 0.3
NEB New England Business Service 23.80 29.31 18.01 (1.2) 24.3 553 52.4
PCCC PC Connection 6.02 16.54 3.72 20.5 (59.4) 1,143 5.1
MALL PC Mall 3.45 5.10 1.76 25.0 (15.0) 802 4.1
PFP Premier Farnell 6.00 10.10 4.25 26.2 (31.4) 1,065 74.9
SCHS School Specialty 19.72 29.94 18.45 (18.6) (13.8) 853 52.1
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.50 1.75 0.92 3.5 57.9 100 31.6
TESS Tessco Technologies 10.20 18.96 7.49 25.4 (40.5) 267 20.8
ZONS Zones 1.07 1.92 0.70 (2.0) 35.4 327 5.2
Source: financial Advisory Partners and company filings

Of the 20 publicly traded catalogers tracked by Financial Advisory Partners for Catalog Age, 40% suffered a drop in stock value through December. While that’s more discouraging than the previous month’s performance — only 30% of the companies lost value in November — it’s still a vast improvement upon October, when three-quarters of the stocks declined.

“The market for direct marketing stocks continues to improve selectively,” says Ken Packer, of Waukee, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners, “with investors moving toward companies that are performing reasonably well during this difficult economic period and moving away from the laggards.”

Packer adds that the business-to-business catalog stocks are outperforming their consumer counterparts. “Five direct-to-business stocks were up more than 20% in December,” he says, “as computer suppliers benefited from somewhat improving sentiment toward technology markets in 2003.”

The biggest gainers for the month were multititle gifts marketer 1-800-Flowers.com, whose stock price rose nearly 51%, and industrial supplies cataloger MSC Industrial Direct, with a nearly 37% rise in share price. The biggest losers were multititle school supplies marketer School Specialty, whose price per share fell almost 19%, and troubled Spiegel, which fell more than 16%.

But at least Spiegel’s stock price was higher than that of multititle mailer Hanover Direct: $0.49 vs. $0.19.

Partner Content

3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Build the Foundation for Great Customer Experiences - NetSuite
Understand how consistent, timely, relevant and personalized experiences are enabled by having the right technology foundation in place.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.