Financial Reports: Amazon, PC Connection, 1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers Improves Net Loss
Westbury, NY-based (Nasdaq: FLWS), whose holdings include country products cataloger Plow & Hearth and gifts title Popcorn Factory, improved its quarterly net loss on slightly higher sales.

Net revenue for the fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 26 was $97.5 million, up 2% from $95.2 million a year ago. Online revenue grew 9%, to $53.1 million from $48.9 million last year. Telephonic sales tumbled 7%, to $37.6 million from $40.4 million. Net loss improved 41%, to $2.7 million from $5.1 million.

Earnings Up at PC Connection
Merrimack, NH-based computer reseller PC Connection (Nasdaq: PCCC) reported higher sales and earnings for the third quarter. Net income increased 27%, to $2.8 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $2.2 million last year. Total sales increased slightly to $351.3 million from $349.4 million last year. The company mailed 6.9 million catalogs during the quarter, 17% fewer than it had for the same period of 2003.

Breaking it down by division, PC Connection Sales Corp., which targets small and midsize businesses, had third-quarter revenue of $195.9 million, a 9% increase from $179.6 million last year. Sales at GovConnection, which sells to the federal government, fell 25%, to $77.9 million. MoreDirect, which handles large accounts, took in $77.5 million in revenue, compared with $66.3 million a year ago.

Amazon Increases Bottom Line
Seattle-based Internet behemoth (Nasdaq: AMZN) had handsome third-quarter gains on both sides of the ledger. Net income increased a whopping 237%, to $54 million from $16 million a year ago. Operating income was $81 million, compared with $52 million for the third quarter of last year. Net sales increased 29%, to $1.46 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $1.13 billion last year.

North America sales increased 15%, to $816 million. But operating income for the segment declined $5 million, to $57 million. The increased adoption of free shipping contributed to an increase of $7 million in net shipping loss compared with the third quarter of 2003.

Net sales, excluding the $57 million benefit from changes in foreign exchange rates, grew 24%.

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