Financial reports: Staples, Intimate Brands, Talbots, Jos. A. Bank, and more

Staples Posts Income Gains

Office supplies giant Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS), which mails the Quill catalog in addition to operating the Staples catalog/retail chain, recorded a 7% boost in third-quarter net income, to $91.3 million for the three months ended Nov. 3. Revenue for the Framingham, MA-based marketer increased 1%, to $2.83 billion from $2.80 billion a year earlier. Sales for the Staples Delivery business, which includes the Staples and Quill catalogs and Websites, increased 9%, to $778 million.

Sales, Earnings Dip at Intimate Brands Cataloger/retailer Intimate Brands (NYSE: IBI), which mails the Victoria’s Secret catalog, reported a 4% drop in third-quarter net sales, to $905.6 million for the three months ended Nov. 3. Worse, the Columbus, OH-based marketer posted a net loss of $10.7 million, compared to net income of $43.2 million a year ago. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 10%. Within Victoria’s Secret’s direct division, sales declined 7%, to $148 million from last year’s $158.6 million. The sales decline was generated in part by a 5% drop in catalog circulation and a 3% decline in total pages circulation. Despite the decrease in catalog pages, expenses rose, largely as a result of higher promotional pricing and a free shipping-and-handling offer.

Belt Tightening Helps at Talbots Expense and inventory controls helped cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) increae its third-quarter net income 5% despite a 1% decline in total sales. For the three months ended Nov. 3, the Hingham, MA-based apparel marketer posted net income of $36.6 million on sales of $393.9 million. For the comparable period of last year, net income was $34.9 million on sales of $397.2 million. Catalog sales increased 4%, to $68.2 million from $65.8 million last year. On the other hand, comparable store sales fell 8%.

Net Income Triples at Jos. A. Bank The third quarter proved to be a good fit for men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ: JOSB). For the three months ended Nov. 3, net income for the Hampstead, MD-based marketer was $1.3 million–more than triple the net income of $407,000 for the comparable period of last year. At the same time, net sales rose 14%, to $50.2 million from $44 million.

Losses Widen at MediaBay Cedar Knolls, NJ-based MediaBay (Nasdaq: MBAY), a multichannel marketer of spoken audio and nostalgia products, lost $16.7 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. That’s compared to a net loss of $4.1 million for the comparable quarter of 2000. Net sales for the quarter were $9.9 million, up 2% from $9.7 million a year ago. MediaBay also reported a $550,000 reduction in general and administrative expenses in the quarter, to $2.8 million from $3.4 million.

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