Bulls and Bears: Quiet End to the Summer

Ticker symbol Company Price as of 9/5/03 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 $9.04 $10.9 $5.61 1.7% $8.40 11.3%
BL Blair Corp. 20.93 25.45 18.25 (8.6) 71.69 6.1
CWTR Coldwater Creek 19.29 19.50 7.97 10.1 27.94 0
HNV Hanover Direct 0.27 0.34 0.16 16.7 3.20 45.8
JILL J. Jill Group 15.90 24.90 9.51 6.4 18.22 9.8
MBAY MediaBay 0.78 3.05 0.60 2.6 3.20 57.5
SPGLA Spiegel 0.04 1.20 0.03 (27.3) 22.53 466.8
DIRECT TO CONSUMER
BBOX Black Box Corp. $46.80 $51.39 $25.58 16.3% $29.07 13.9%
CDWC CDW Corp. 51.13 56.58 36.30 7.9 49.61 0
HSIC Henry Schein 56.99 60.32 34.17 (1.2) 67.24 22.5
MSM MSC Industrial Direct 21.94 23.13 9.85 8.1 12.27 0.3
NEB New England Business Service 30.70 32.00 19.99 2.6 41.39 52.4
PCCC PC Connection 11.75 11.97 3.72 12.4 50.96 4.2
MALL PC Mall 8.91 9.60 1.76 9.7 83.09 39.4
PFP Premier Farnell 8.29 8.75 4.25 19.6 7.84 74.9
SCHS School Specialty 27.14 30.97 17.02 1.5 40.18 52.1
SSPY Sport Supply Group 1.80 2.10 1.40 (4.8) 11.41 31.6
TESS Tessco Technologies 10.59 13.09 6.11 28.1 61.00 20.8
ZONS Zones 1.01 1.28 0.60 (5.9) 31.14 0.7
Sources: StockVal, Bloomberg

August was another solid month for publicly traded catalogers. Fourteen of the 19 companies tracked for Catalog Age by Waukee, IA-based Financial Advisory Partners, or 74% ended the month with gains in value.

Not all of the gains were as dramatic as July’s 76% leap on the part of PC Mall, for instance, or Coldwater Creek’s 30% increase. The biggest gainer was Tessco Technologies, a provider of wireless-communications products and services; its stock price climbed 28%, to $10.59. The industrial supplies company hit a new 52-week high of $8.75 a share on Aug. 26 before dipping slightly to close at $8.29 a share on Sept. 5 — up nearly 20% for the fiscal month.

Among the consumer catalogers, multititle apparel and home goods mailer Hanover Direct showed the greatest gain, nearly 17%. But Hanover was hardly rising from a great height; it closed the month at $0.27 a share, and its 52-week high was only $0.34 a share. The only other consumer stock to post a double-digit gain was women’s apparel cataloger/retailer Coldwater Creek, which rose 10%, to $19.29 a share. Most of its significant gains for the month followed the Aug. 27 release of its strong second-quarter results.

Just as the month’s increases weren’t seismic, neither were the decreases. The biggest loser was, once again, multititle mailer Spiegel, which fell 27% — or a bit more than a penny, to $0.04 a share.

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