Financial Reports: PC Mall, eCost, Aramark

PC Mall and Spin-off eCost Start Year in Red
Torrance, CA-based online discount retailer eCost.com (Nasdaq: ECST), which spun off from computer reseller PC Mall (Nasdaq: MALL) in April, showed a 44% rise in first-quarter net sales, to $55.1 million for the three months ended March 31. But the company’s net loss widened appreciably, to $1.7 million from $20,000 last year, largely due to the expense of becoming a stand-alone company.

Meanwhile, PC Mall reported a $4.2 million net loss for the quarter ended March 31. For the first quarter of last year, it had posted net income of $136,000. The company did manage to increase revenue 6%, to $293.7 million. Commercial sales for the quarter grew 8%, but that was partially offset by year-over-year declines in consumer sales (down 13%) and government sales (down 7%). The latter resulted from a large government order in the first quarter of 2004 that did not reoccur this year.

Aramark’s Direct Marketing Sales, Operating Income Tumble
Though Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. (NYSE: RMK), reported modest companywide sales and income increases for its second fiscal quarter, its direct marketing unit continues to suffer. Sales for the division, which includes the Galls, Wearguard-Crest, and the Aramark Buyers Guide catalogs of public safety equipment and apparel, fell 5%, to $103 million. Operating income tumbled 76%, to $1.2 million, which the company is due to margin erosion at Wearguard-Crest.

Total sales for the quarter rose 6%, to $2.7 billion. Net income increased 14%, to $53.1 million.

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