Financial reports: Lands’ End, Nordstrom, Sharper Image, Urban Outfitters

Lands’ End 1Q income more than doubles

Three days after announcing that it would be acquired by Sears, Roebuck & Co., apparel and home goods cataloger Lands’ End (NYSE: LI) had more big news to report: It had more than doubled its first-quarter net income, to $16.5 million from $5.9 million for the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.

The bottom-line growth exceeded the 10% rise in revenue, to $341.2 million for the three months ended May 3. For the first quarter of last year, Dodgeville, WI-based Lands’ End’s revenue totaled $311.1 million.

Internet sales jumped 46%, to $79 million from $54 million. International sales rose nearly 13%, to $32 million from $28 million. But sales within the company’s specialty segment, slid 1%, to $85 million, due to a decline in the corporate sales division.

Nordstrom direct sales down 9% The catalog and Internet division of apparel marketer Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) suffered a 9% drop in sales. For the three months ended April 30, direct sales were $63.1 million, down from $69.7 million the previous first quarter. But the division did manage to slim its net loss to $300,000 from $4.2 million a year ago. Seattle-based Nordstrom is buying back the minority interest in owned by Benchmark Capital Partners and Madrona Investment Group.

Total company sales rose 2% for the quarter, to $1.25 billion, despite a 2% decline in comparable store sales. First-quarter net earnings increased nearly 23%, to $30.4 million.

Sharper Image still looking sharp High-tech gadgets cataloger/retailer Sharper Image Corp. (Nasdaq: SHRP) reported record first-quarter revenue. For the three months ended April 30, total sales were $92.8 million, up from $69.8 million a year ago. Catalog sales soared by 60%, to $28.8 million from $18.0 million. Internet sales grew 18%, to $11.5 million from $9.7 million.

On the other side of the ledger, Sharper Image hacked away at its net loss significantly. Whereas for the first quarter of last year it lost nearly $2.8 million, this year its first-quarter loss was just $260,000. The San Francisco-based company credits the success of private-label products, which have higher margins than other products, for much of its top- and bottom-line success.

Urban Outfitters sitting pretty First-quarter catalog and Internet sales at Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN) rose 12%, contributing to the apparel marketer’s record earnings. In addition to its Urban Outfitter chain of apparel and home accessories stores, the company owns apparel and home décor cataloger/retailer Anthropologie.

For the three months ended April 30, catalog and Web sales were $7.1 million, compared with $6.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2001. Total company sales climbed 31%, to $94.1 million. Net income quadrupled, from $1.2 million a year ago to $4.8 million.

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