FINANCE

Big 5 Sporting Goods has competitive Q4, fiscal 2014

BY Marianne Wilson

El Segundo, Calif. – Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. released mostly positive financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013. During the fourth quarter, net income rose 30% to $5.2 million from $4 million compared to the same period in the prior year.

Net sales increased about 2% to $248 million from $243.6 million, while same-store sales declined 0.5%. During the fiscal year, net income almost doubled, rising 87% to $27.9 million from $14.9 million. Net sales improved 6% to $993.3 million from $940.5 million and same-store sales rose 3.9%.

Steven G. Miller, chairman, president and CEO of Big 5, said a slowdown in firearms and ammunition sales as well as severe winter weather dampened fourth quarter same-store sales.

"We are pleased to have delivered another quarter of earnings growth in a very challenging retail environment," said Miller. "As we previously reported, our fourth quarter sales comparisons were impacted by cycling against the surge of firearm and ammunition sales during the prior year, as well as the lack of favorable winter weather across our western markets. We were able to offset most of the sales softness caused by these factors with positive performance in a number of our other product categories, which we believe reflects the favorable customer response to our merchandising and marketing strategies.”

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FINANCE

Dollar Tree net income falls on varied sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chesapeake, Va. — Net income fell at Dollar Tree Inc. during the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, while net sales fell during the quarter and rose during the year. On a year-over-year basis, net income during the fourth quarter declined about 7% to $213 million from $228.6 million, and during the full year fell about 4% to $596.7 million from $619.3 million.

Net sales fell slightly to $2.23 billion from $2.24 billion during the quarter, and climbed 6% to $7.84 billion from $7.39 billion during the year. Same-store sales grew 1.2% during the quarter and 2.4% during the year. Dollar Tree cited the extra week in the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2012, as well as continued economic challenges, as impacting results.

“I am proud of the company’s performance in the fourth quarter and full year 2013,” said Bob Sasser, CEO “Dollar Tree delivered record earnings and our comparable-store sales grew, despite severe weather, a shorter Holiday selling period and a challenging economic environment. More customers are shopping Dollar Tree, responding to our incredible values and convenient shopping experience. Our inventories are fresh and our stores are full of exciting merchandise for the spring season.”

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FINANCE

Report: Aeropostale working with Barclays

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Aeropostale Inc. is reportedly working with investment bank Barclays plc to investigate options including selling the company to a private equity firm or a regular equity sale. According to Bloomberg, Aeropostale CEO Tom Johnson is already trying to reverse four consecutive quarters of losses through new products and the closure of up to 40 stores.

In November 2013, major investor Crescendo Partners sent Aeropostale a letter demanding the company sell itself. Aeropostale and Barclays did not comment in the article.

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