Financial reports: Dell, Staples, Talbots, Alloy, Brookstone, and more

Dude, Dell is up

During its second quarter, Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) shipped a record number of computer systems, exceeding the company’s revenue guidance and sharply improving profitability. Second-quarter revenue increased 11%, to $8.5 billion from $7.6 billion last year. Net income rose 16%, to $501 million from $433 million.

Company shipments of servers and workstations were up 20%, and those products combined with storage systems accounted for 20% of revenue. Looking ahead to the third quarter, the Austin, TX-based manufacturer/marketer expects sales of approximately $8.9 billion, a Dell record and up 19% from the third quarter of 2001.

Profits? Yes, Staples got that Office products cataloger/retailer Staples (Nasdaq NM: SPLS), which mails the Staples and Quill catalogs, reported a 48% jump in profits as improved margins on office products aimed at small business customers and private-label items overcame weak sales of PCs.

Framingham, MA-based Staples posted net income of $59.6 million for the quarter ended Aug. 3, compared with $40.4 million for the comparable period of last year. Quarterly revenue rose 5%, to $2.43 billion from $2.31 billion. Staples’ North American delivery business, which includes the Quill and Staples catalogs, posted quarterly sales of $781 million, up 8% from last year. Quill’s sales grew 7%. Income from the business increased 22%, to $57 million.

North American retail sales increased to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion last year. As for profits, the North American retail segment pulled in $45.8 million, up from $40.1 million last year.

Sales down, income up at Talbots Hingham, MA–Apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) reported $47.4 million in catalog sales for the quarter ended Aug. 3. That’s a 5% decline from the $49.8 million in catalog sales enjoyed during the comparable period of 2001. The company nonetheless posted net income of $20.0 million, up 12% from $17.8 million last year. Total net sales decreased 4%, to $370.4 million from $384.3 million. Retail store sales fell 3%, to $323.0 million from $334.5 million, while same-store store sales fell 10%.

“Driving these results were better-than-expected regular-price selling of our late summer and early fall merchandise and above-plan sales of our markdown merchandise,” chairman/president/CEO Arnold Zetcher said in a statement.

Alloy revenue up 81% Second-quarter revenue for teen apparel and services marketer Alloy (Nasdaq: ALOY) rose 81%, from $28.7 million last year to $52.0 million for the three months ended July 31. Merchandise sales from the company’s catalogs and Websites rose 45%, to $31.5 million, thanks to strong response, increased catalog circulation, and sales from the Dan’s Competition catalog, which Alloy bought last year. Revenue from the company’s sponsorship programs and media services climbed 194%, to $20.4 million.

The boost in revenue led Alloy to post net income of $538,000. For the second quarter of fiscal 2001, the New York-based company reported a net loss of $7.0 million.

Brookstone narrows 2Q loss Nashua, NH–Better material margins, controlled expenses, and improved performance in the direct marketing segment led to a narrower loss for cataloger/retailer Brookstone (Nasdaq: BKST). The company, which mails the Brookstone, Hard-to-Find Tools, and Gardeners Eden catalogs, posted sales of $71.2 million for the three months ended Aug. 3. That’s up 2% from $69.6 million in the second quarter of last year. Catalog and Internet sales increased 9%, to $12.6 million. Same-store sales decreased 4%.

The company reported a net loss of $2.2 million for the quarter, an improvement up last year’s second-quarter loss of $2.8 million. The loss includes a one-time gain of $642,000 related to the curtailment of Brookstone’s retiree medical plan.

In a release, Brookstone noted weakness in travel-related products and said that the sales declines at locations dependent on travel, such as shops in airports and tourist locations, were roughly twice those of other stores.

Restoration Hardware’s direct sales up 40% Second-quarter catalog and Internet sales for Restoration Hardware (Nasdaq: RSTO) rose 40%, to $9.6 million for the three months ended Aug. 3. For the second quarter of 2001, direct sales were $6.9 million.

The San Francisco-based home furnishings cataloger/retailer enjoyed a 12% increase in total sales for the quarter, to $85.0 million from $75.9 million a year ago. Comparable store sales rose 9%. What’s more, the company reduced its net loss 48%, from $6.9 million to $3.6 million.

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