Bulls and Bears: Few Treats for Catalogers in October

Ticker
symbol
Company Price as of
9/23/02
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 $7.33 $17.86 $4.75 (29.3) (53.0) $507.00 11.3
BL Blair Corp. 22.31 26.80 14.30 (1.7) (1.3) 561.00 6.2
CWTR Coldwater Creek 15.60 27.15 12.05 (13.2) (26.4) 463.00 0
HNV Hanover Direct 0.26 0.54 0.19 (20.6) (29.7) 478.00 43.9
JILL J. Jill Group 22.66 27.50 8.93 (30.5) 57.9 317.00 13.5
LVC Lillian Vernon Corp. 4.90 8.25 4.75 (5.3) (26.3) 256.00 0
MBAY MediaBay 0.90 6.04 0.40 (70.5) 45.2 45.00 63.2
SPGLA Spiegel 0.53 6.34 0.21 28.6 (88.4) 3,297.00 52.5
DIRECT TO BUSINESS
BBOX Black Box Corp. $42.93 $58.77 $28.02 (4.4) (18.8) $657.00 13.9
CDWC CDW Computer Centers 49.74 60.00 40.25 (1.3) (7.4) 4,199.00 0
HSIC Henry Schein 53.00 57.73 31.90 5.6 43.1 2,677.00 28.1
MSM MSC Industrial Direct 13.45 24.36 9.30 (18.2) (31.9) 800.00 0.4
NEB New England Business Service 22.85 29.31 16.70 (8.2) 19.3 553.00 52.4
PCCC PC Connection 6.25 17.79 3.72 (31.8) (57.9) 1,110.00 5.1
MALL PC Mall 2.79 5.10 1.76 (2.5) (31.3) 744.00 4.1
PFP Premier Farnell 5.44 10.10 4.25 (17.7) (37.8) 1,050.00 74.9
SCHS School Specialty 26.27 32.19 19.88 6.0 14.8 805.00 52.1
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.43 1.75 0.90 5.7 50.5 102.00 31.6
TESS Tessco Technologies 8.75 18.96 7.49 (19.1) (49.0) 267.00 20.8
ZONS Zones 1.05 1.92 0.70 (14.3) 32.9 327.00 5.2
Source: Financial Advisory Partners and company filings

Catalog stocks took a pounding in October. Of the eight consumer catalogers tracked for Catalog Age by Des Moines, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners, all but one — Spiegel — saw their stock price drop during the month. But given that Spiegel’s price on Oct. 25 was $0.53 a share, down considerably from its 52-week high of $6.34, that’s not much of a victory. In fact, of all the catalogers tracked, Spiegel’s stock has dropped the most, percentagewise, for the year to date: more than 88%.

Among the consumer catalogers for the year to date, only women’s apparel cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group and vintage-audio marketer MediaBay (the parent company of the Radio Spirits catalog) have seen their stock prices rise. Interestingly, among the consumer stocks they also suffered the greatest losses in value in October.

Among the 12 business-to-business marketers tracked, only medical supplies marketer Henry Schein, educational supplies cataloger School Specialty, and institutional sporting goods marketer Sport Supply Group managed to increase their stock value in October. But five of the 12 companies have seen their stock prices increase for the year to date.

“While the computer sellers have been challenged,” notes Ken Packer, managing partner of Financial Advisory Partners, “the providers of services to stable businesses, like Henry Schein, [business forms and supplies cataloger] New England Business Service, and Sport Supply Group, have done well.” School Specialty is also up for the year, as is computer reseller Zones — the only computer cataloger that can make the claim.

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