Financial Report: Forecasts Cloudy for Marketers

Stamford, CT–Marketers are waiting for the gray economic skies to clear up…soon. In the meantime, companies continue to announce For instance, continued weak sales in its department store segment, forced Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores (NYSE: FD), which mails the Macy’s by Mail, Bloomingdale’s by Mail, and Fingerhut catalogs, to lower its second-quarter projections. The company now expects earnings to be $0.40-$0.50 a share, excluding restructuring charges, down from an earlier forecast of $0.70-$0.75 a share. Federated said that while a majority of the earnings miss can be attributed to sales shortfall, it is also taking markdowns on existing inventory to start the second half of the year in good shape. As a result, Federated is lowering its annual earnings estimate to $3.60-$3.90 a share from the previous estimate of $4.00-$4.25 a share.

Agoura Hills, CA-based Guitar Center (Nasdaq: GTRC) is also singing the blues. The cataloger/retailer announced that earnings will come in flat with last year’s $0.18-a-share showing. Unfortunately, analysts had expected the company, which owns cataloger Musician’s Friend, to earn $0.20 a share. Guitar Center also skipped a beat when logistics held up orders as the company completed moving its Knoxville, KY, warehouse operations over to its Kansas City fulfillment center.

South St. Paul, MN-based The Sportsman’s Guide (Nasdaq: SGDE) had better news to report. The cataloger of outdoor gear expects earnings for the quarter ended June 30 to come in ahead of expectations. Sportsman’s Guide projects revenue of approximately $32.0 million, up from the $30.3 million reported for the same period one year ago. Also, its quarterly loss will narrow to $0.04-$0.05 a share, compared to a projected loss of $0.11 a share and a loss of $0.18 a share for the same quarter of 2000.

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