Financial Reports: Blair, Transcat, Amazon.com

Sales, Income Up at Blair Corp.

Warren, PA-based Blair Corp. (Amex: BL) reported gains on both sides of the ledger. For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, net sales were $124.1 million, up 5% from $117.8 million last year. Net income increased 184%, to $793,000 from $279,000.

Advertising expenses as a percent of net sales rose to 27.4% for the first nine months of 2003 from 25.6% for the comparable period a year ago. The increase of $7.5 million is due to increased catalog mailings to customers and prospects. In addition to its Blair apparel and housewares titles, the company mails women’s apparel catalog Crossing Pointe.

Sales, Income Down at Transcat
Rochester, NY-based Transcat (Nasdaq: TRNS), a manufacturer/marketer of test, measurement, and calibration instruments, blamed the “lingering economic downturn” for an 18% decline in sales for its fiscal second quarter. For the three months ended Sept. 27, net revenue was $11.9 million, compared with $14.4 million for the comparable period of last year. Net income fell by nearly a third, to $355,000 from $509,000.

Amazon Ends 3Q in the Black
Third-quarter net sales at online superstore Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose 33%. And despite the company’s aggressive free-shipping offers, that increase enabled Amazon to post net income for the quarter.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Amazon had net income of $15.6 million on net sales of $1.13 billion. For the third quarter of last year, it had lost $35.1 million on sales of $851.3 million. North American sales grew 21%, to $709 million, while operating income for the segment increased 137%, to $63 million.

Looking ahead, Amazon expects fourth-quarter sales of $1.76 bilion-$1.91 billion, an increase of 23%-34% from the fourth quarter of 2002. It projects net sales for the full year to reach $5.75 billion-$6.25 billion.

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