Guitar Center’s 3Q something to sing about

Third-quarter direct sales at musical instruments marketer Guitar Center (Nasdaq: GTRC), which includes cataloger Musician’s Friend, rose 23%, from $38.2 million last year to $49.6 million for the three months ended Sept. 30. Gross margin for the direct division was 29.2%, up from 26.6% a year ago, due largely to the consolidation of its Medford, OR, and Knoxville, TN, fulfillment centers into a Kansas City warehouse.

The Westlake Village, CA-based cataloger/retailer’s total third-quarter revenue increased 13%, to $257.4 million from $227.8 million last year. Net income soared an impressive 218%, to $4.4 million from $1.4 million.

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