Financial reports: Guitar Center, Harvard Biosciences

Well-tuned 1Q sales for Guitar Center

Cataloger/retailer Guitar Center (Nasdaq NMS: GTRC) reported an 18% rise in first-quarter sales, to $251.5 million for the three months ended March 31. But net income dropped 32%, to $3.4 million from $5.0 million last year.

Net sales for the direct response division, which includes the Musician’s Friend catalog, increased 18%, to $46.1 million from $39.0 million a year ago. Gross margin for the division fell to 29.7% from 31.4% for the first quarter of 2001.

Based on these results, Guitar Center is increasing sales and earnings projections for the second quarter. It expects second-quarter net sales of $245 million-$250 million and earnings per share of $0.13-$0.14. The Westlake Village, CA-based company has increased its year-end earnings per share estimate to $0.97-$1.03 from $0.91-$0.97.

Bottom line surges at Harvard Bioscience Holliston, MA-based Harvard Bioscience (Nasdaq: HBIO), a manufacturer/marketer of drug research supplies, reported first-quarter revenue of $12.0 million, up 41% from $8.6 million for the first quarter of 2001. Net income climbed 182%, to $773,000 for the three months ended March 31 from $272,000 a year earlier. The first quarter of 2001 had included charges for amortization of goodwill and certain intangibles net of tax of $144,000, which are not included in 2002 results due to the company’s January 2002 adoption of new accounting practices.