Financial reports: Lands’ End, Guitar Center, and more

Lands’ End Raises Guidance

Citing stronger-than-anticipated January sales, Lands’ End (NYSE: LE) said it expects higher earnings for its fiscal year ended Feb. 1 than previously projected. The apparel and home goods catalog estimates that total revenue for fiscal 2001 increased 7% from the previous year. Dodgeville, WI-based Lands’ End also expect earnings per share for the year to be at least $2.20; it had previously projected earnings per share of $2.11-$2.18. Lands’ End will report fiscal 2002 results on March 14.

Hangover at Geerlings & Wade Wine and accessories marketer Geerlings & Wade (NasdaqSmallCap: GEER) finished 2001 with a hangover. Annual sales fell 12%, to $32.7 million from $37.2 million in 2000. The Canton, MA-based cataloger also reported a loss before income taxes of $1.1 million, more than twice the $471,000 it had lost the previous year.

For the first three quarters of 2001, the sales decline resulted from circulation cuts. But the company blames the 10% drop in fourth-quarter sales, to $10.8 million, on the aftermath of Sept. 11. Sales for October and November were 18% below what they’d been for the same months of 2000. While sales subsequently begane to pick up in December, they didn’t recover enough to make up for the lost revenue.

Despite Sales Increase, Guitar Center Hits Bum Earnings Note Westlake Village, CA-based Guitar Center (Nasdaq NMS: GTRC), which mails the Musician’s Friend catalog, suffered a 24% decline in annual net income, despite a 19% jump in net sales. For 2001, the cataloger/retailer had income of $17.0 million on sales of $938.2 million. In 2000, its income had been $22.5 million on $785.7 million in revenue.

Direct response sales, which include revenue from Musician’s Friend, increased 18%, to $157.4 million from $133.3 million in 2000. But while catalog sales exceeded forecasts, the operating margins fell below expectations. The company experienced higher shipping costs as a result of split shipments on certain orders.

Annual Net Income Soars at West Marine For the year ended Dec. 29, Watsonville, CA-based West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) reported net sales of $512.9 million, up slightly from $508.4 million in 2000. But the cataloger/retailer of boating supplies boasted an 88% leap in net income, to $13.9 million from $7.4 million for 2000.

Fourth-quarter net sales increased 3%, to $90.8 million from $88.0 million the previous year. Net loss was $2.0 million, an appreciable improvement from the net loss of $5.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2000. The company did not break out sales by channel.

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