FINANCE

Ascena’s Q4 income tops estimates; 180 to 190 stores on tap for 2014

BY Marianne Wilson

Suffern, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group’s adjusted fiscal fourth-quarter profit exceeded Wall Street estimates, driven by strong same-store sales at its Lane Bryant division.

Looking ahead, the company, whose brands include Justice, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Dressbarn and Catherines, said it plans to open approximately 180 to 190 stores and close 115 to 125 stores.

Ascena’s net income jumped to $29.8 million for the quarter that ended July 27, compared with net income of $1.6 million in its fourth quarter last year.
Revenue increased to $1.2 billion from $939.7 million.

The company sounded a cautious note about the upcoming months.

“As we head into Fiscal 2014, we expect macro-economic factors to continue to pressure the apparel industry,” said David Jaffe, president and CEO. “In light of that, we have taken a conservative approach to how we are planning fall. Our teams are focused on driving profitable growth in 2014 and we feel that our brands are well positioned for this challenging environment.”

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FINANCE

AutoZone Q4 profit up 14.7%

BY Marianne Wilson

Memphis — AutoZone’s net income for the fourth quarter increased 14.7% to $371.2 million, below estimates. The chain also posted its 28th consecutive quarter of double digit growth in earnings per share.

Revenue rose 12% to $3.1 billion, narrowly exceeding expectations. Domestic same-store sales disappointed with a 1% gain.

“While our same store sales performance was below our expectations for the quarter, we believe the initiatives we have in place will lead to improved sales in both retail and commercial in 2014,” AutoZone CEO Bill Rhodes said in a statement.

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News

Kodak board elects new chair

BY CSA STAFF

Eastman Kodak Company has elected James V. Continenza chairman of the board. Continenza has been a Kodak director since April. Kodak CEO Antonio M. Perez remains a member of the board.

“Kodak is a company poised for growth. I look forward to providing leadership as the company realizes its potential as a technology company focused on the packaging, graphic communications, and functional printing markets,” said Continenza.

“Jim has played a leadership role in helping newly restructured companies drive innovation and growth,” said Perez. “Jim shares a deep commitment to fostering the success of our customers in both our emerging and established businesses. I look forward to working with Jim and the entire board in anticipating and meeting our customers’ needs with breakthrough products and services.”

Continenza also serves on the board of Tembec Corp., a publicly traded company. He currently serves on boards in the following industries: packaging, media/digital advertising, biofuels and network telecommunications. Previously, he was a director for Hawkeye Renewables, Anchor Glass Container Corp., Rath-Gibson, Rural Cellular Corp., U.S. Mobility, Maxim Crane Works, Arch Wireless and Microcell Telecommunications.

Kodak is a technology company focused on imaging for business. Kodak serves customers with disruptive technologies and breakthrough solutions for the product goods packaging, graphic communications and functional printing industries. The company also offers leading products and services in entertainment imaging and commercial films.

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