Bulls and Bears: Could Be Better, Could Be Worse

Ticker symbol Company Price as of 7/2/02 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
BL Blair Corp. $25.57 $26.65 $13.05 11.6 13.1 $73.14 6.2
CWTR Coldwater Creek 23.06 29.19 13.13 22.2 8.9 43.16 0
FLWS 1-800-Flowers.com 10.00 17.86 8.20 (0.7) (35.9) 7.29 11.9
HNV Hanover Direct 0.26 0.54 0.15 (32.4) (29.7) 2.64 43.9
JILL J. Jill Group 23.66 26.35 6.80 16.5 64.8 15.57 13.5
LE Lands’ End 62.00 62.00 28.05 23.2 23.5 50.50 0
LVC Lillian Vernon Corp. 7.00 9.10 6.25 (13.6) 5.3 30.87 0
SPGLA Spiegel 0.73 10.72 1.01 (45.4) (84.0) 24.98 52.5
DIRECT TO BUSINESS
BBOX Black Box Corp. 38.21 69.95 36.57 (19.6) (27.7) 35.71 25.2
CDWC CDW Computer Centers 43.99 60.00 28.35 (10.2) (18.1) 44.56 0
HSIC Henry Schein 42.93 50.59 31.61 (10.3) 15.9 59.74 28.1
MALL PC Mall 3.19 5.10 1.38 (8.4) (21.5) 66.45 4.1
MSM MSC Industrial Direct 18.00 24.36 13.90 4.8 (8.9) 11.49 0.4
NEB New England Business Service 25.67 29.31 15.86 (5.0) 34.1 44.55 61.8
PCCC PC Connection 5.00 17.79 3.83 (58.0) (66.3) 44.72 5.1
PFP Premier Farnell 7.15 10.10 4.58 (15.4) (18.3) 4.39 72.3
SCHS School Specialty 25.85 35.40 21.25 0 13.0 38.87 45.2
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.28 1.35 0.76 17.3 34.7 11.62 34.7
TESS Tessco Technologies 10.25 18.96 7.65 (26.3) (40.2) 54.39 31.6
ZONS Zones 1.22 1.98 0.55 26.1 54.4 35.49 5.2
Source: Financial Advisory Partners and company filings

April may have been the cruelest month for T.S. Eliot, but June wasn’t great for publicly traded catalogers either. For the consumer mailers tracked for Catalog Age by Waukee, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners, the stock price slipped an average of 5.2% in June. Business-to-business and computer catalogers had it even worse: Their stock price fell an average of 8.2%.

“On the business side,” says Ken Packer, managing partner with Financial Advisory Partners, “weak year-to-date results at technology-driven Black Box, CDW, PC Mall, and PC Connection have been partially offset by modest strength at medical and dental distributor Henry Schein and at school suppliers Sport Supply Group and School Specialty.”

But compared with the market at large, catalog stocks didn’t fare so bad. The S&P 500 Stock Index dropped 9.0% in June; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 7.6%. And year to date, Packer adds, the catalogers tracked have outperformed the S&P 500 and the Dow. For the first half of 2002, the S&P 500 dropped 16.2%, and the Dow fell 9.7%; on average, the stock price for b-to-b mailers slid 5%, while consumer catalog stocks dipped 3.9%.

Generally, Packer says, “retail and direct marketing stocks have outperformed the market because the strength of consumer spending has outpaced strength in other sectors.”

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