Net Income Falls at Vermont Teddy Bear
Third-quarter net income at Shelburne, VT-based Vermont Teddy Bear fell 84% to $221,000, compared to $1.4 million gain last year. That’s thanks to a one-time charge incurred in the quarter to operating expenses of $2.2 million related to the settlement of the New York lease dispute.
The company also reported revenue of $25.6 million for the quarter ending March 31, a gain 27% over last year. Vermont Teddy Bear also reported a 21% increase in orders booked in the two-week period leading up to Mother’s Day its for BearGram, PajamaGram, TastyGram and Calyx & Corolla brands. It received 134,000 orders this year, compared to approximately 111,000 taken in the same two-week period last year.
Direct Sales up 8% at Talbots
Hingham, MA-based cataloger/retailer of classic women’s apparel The Talbots, (NYSE:TLB) reported that net sales increased 8% to $446.5 million for the quarter ended April 30, up from $412.2 million last year. Direct marketing sales, which include catalog and Internet, increased 8% to $68.4 million, compared to $63.6 million last year.
First-quarter net income increased 3% to $34.5 million, compared to $33.5 million in the first quarter last year. Retail store sales increased 8% to $378.1 million this year compared to $348.6 million last year. Comparable store sales increased 4%.
Brookstone Loss Widens
Merrimack, NH-based Brookstone (Nasdaq: BKST), the parent of the Gardner’s Eden, Hard-to-Find Tools, and Brookstone catalogs, reported a wider net loss. For the quarter ended April 30, Brookstone’s net loss was $6.8 million, compared to a net loss of $4.6 million last year. Total sales for the first quarter rose 4% to $80.3 million. Direct marketing sales rose 12% to $13.2 million. Same-store sales decreased 4%. The company says that because of the seasonal nature of specialty retailing, it generally carries a loss over the first three quarters and makes its profit for the year in the fourth quarter.
Staples Increase Sales and Earnings
Buoyed by growth in its delivery business and a smaller gain in North American retail operations, Framingham, MA-based cataloger/retailer Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) reported a 13% sales increase to $3.90 billion for he quarter ended April 30, compared with $3.45 billion.
Sales at Staples’ North American Delivery unit, which includes the Quill and Medical Arts Press family of catalogs, rose 17% to $1.2 billion. The company also said that income for North American Delivery business unit jumped 35% to $98.6 million.
North American Retail comparable sales increased 4%, with total North American Retail sales grew 9%. International sales grew 19% to $549 million. Net income increased 27% to $159.4 million for the quarter, compared with $125.7 million last year.
Staples has recently begun several initiatives aimed at making shopping easier, and is emphasizing profitable copying services and products carrying inhouse store brand names. Last week, Staples introduced its own remanufactured ink cartridges compatible with Dell printers.
Annual Loss Widens at RedEnvelope
San Francisco-based gifts merchant RedEnvelope (Nasdaq: REDE) reported a wider net loss on higher sales for the year. Net revenue increased 28% to $101.4 million for the year ended April 3, compared to $79.3 million last year. The net loss grew 16% to net loss of $5.9 million, compared with a $5.1 million net loss last year.
For the fourth quarter, net revenue increased 28% to $22.2 million, compared to $17.3 million last year. The net loss was $3.8 million, compared to a net loss of $2.3 million last year. Gross margin was 44%, approximately 9 points lower than the comparable quarter in the prior fiscal year.
Penney Presses Increased Income from Operations
Income from continuing operations at Plano, TX-based cataloger/retailer J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP) increased 46% to $172 million for the quarter ended April 30, compared with $118 million in continuing operations last year.
Penney, helped by strong sales of spring merchandise and its online business, reported a fourfold rise in first-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates. It also forecast higher profits for the year.
J.C. Penney which now combines its direct and retail sales figures, says combined catalog/Internet and retail sales totaled $4.2 billion for the quarter, compared with $4.0 billion last year. Internet sales increased approximately 35% for the quarter. Comparable department store sales increased 3% while total department store sales increased 4%.