Bulls and Bears: More Downs Than Ups in September

Ticker symbol Company Price as of 9/30/03 52-week high 52-week low % price change last month Revenue per share T4Q % total debt/total capital
DIRECT TO CONSUMER
FLWS 1-800-Flowers.com $7.52 $10.9 $5.61 (20.7) $8.40 11.3
BL Blair Corp. 20.80 25.45 18.25 1.0 71.69 6.1
CWTR Coldwater Creek 9.70 13.34 5.31 (17.2) 18.62 0
HNV Hanover Direct 0.27 0.34 0.16 (3.6) 3.20 45.8
JILL J. Jill Group 11.57 24.90 9.51 (22.8) 18.22 9.8
MBAY MediaBay 0.80 1.63 0.60 0 3.20 57.5
SPGLA Spiegel 0.05 0.72 0.03 25.0 22.53 466.8
DIRECT TO BUSINESS
BBOX Black Box Corp. $39.81 $51.39 $25.58 (15.4) $29.07 13.9
CDWC CDW Corp. 57.60 60.55 36.30 11.5 49.61 0
HSIC Henry Schein 56.71 60.32 34.17 (1.8) 67.24 22.5
MSM MSC Industrial Direct 20.85 23.13 10.48 (4.3) 12.27 0.3
NEB New England Business Service 26.62 32.00 20.16 (11.6) 41.39 52.4
PCCC PC Connection 9.38 13.47 3.72 (10.7) 50.96 4.2
MALL PC Mall 10.45 11.38 1.76 29.5 83.09 39.4
PFP Premier Farnell 7.65 8.75 4.25 (11.2) 7.08 97.5
SCHS School Specialty 28.21 30.97 17.02 0.3 40.18 52.1
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.70 2.10 1.40 (5.6) 11.41 31.6
TESS Tessco Technologies 9.86 11.51 6.11 0.6 61.00 20.8
ZONS Zones 1.05 1.80 0.60 7.1 31.14 0.7
Sources: StockVal, Bloomberg

Reports of strong back-to-school sales in September heralded headlines touting that the economic recovery was revving up. But the effects of a recovery failed to trickle down to the stock prices of the publicly traded mailers tracked for Catalog Age by Waukee, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners.

Eleven of the 19 catalogers tracked, or 58%, ended September with a decline in stock value for the month. One cataloger (MediaBay) had its stock price unchanged for the month, while just seven ended the month with gains in value. And one of those seven companies was Spiegel, which gained $0.01 a share, to end the month worth $0.05 a share.

The biggest loser of the month was women’s apparel cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group, which in September warned of a third-quarter loss. Its stock lost 23% of its value, closing Sept. 30 at $11.57 a share. Black Box Corp. was the biggest loser on the b-to-b side. The computer networking products and services cataloger, which was downgraded from “neutral” to “underperform” by Robert W. Baird, in late September, fell 15% for the month, closing at $39.81 a share.

The greatest gainer was PC Mall. The computer reseller, which in September won a contract with the state of Virginia worth an estimated $26 million, gained nearly 30%, closing Sept. 30 at $10.45 a share. The only consumer cataloger other than Spiegel to end the month on an uptick was apparel and home goods mailer Blair Corp., which gained 1%, closing Sept. 3 at $20.80 a share.

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