FINANCE

BJ’s Profit Up 26%

BY CSA STAFF

Natick, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. on Wednesday reported a 26% jump in quarterly profit, beating Wall Street expectations, as shoppers headed to its stores for discounts on food and fuel. The retailer also boosted its full-year earnings forecast.

BJ’s said profit for its fiscal first-quarter ended May 3 rose to $17.2 million from $13.7 million a year earlier.

Net sales, which exclude membership-fee revenue, rose 12.3% to $2.26 billion. Same-store sales jumped 9.6%, including a 3.9% boost from sales of gasoline.

Membership fees and other revenue rose to $47.5 million from $46.9 million.

It was the second time since November that BJ’s has raised its 2008 earnings expectations amid a retail environment that’s also benefiting larger rivals Costco Wholesale Corp. and Wal-Mart Inc.’s Sam’s Club.

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Stobb named investor relations head at Goodyear

BY CSA STAFF

AKRON, Ohio The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced that Patrick Stobb has joined the company as director of investor relations. Stobb will report to Darren Wells, Goodyear’s senior vp of finance and strategy.

Prior to joining Goodyear, Stobb was director of investor relations for TRW Automotive Holdings since 2003. He also held a variety of investor relations and finance positions with the Visteon from 2000 to 2003 and the Ford Motor Co. from 1997 to 2000.

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Mervyns to open new stores, launch Web site

BY CSA STAFF

HAYWARD, Calif. Mervyns said it plans to open five new stores in its core markets in 2009. This brings the total number of new Mervyns stores to 17 since the company was acquired by its private equity owners three years ago, and reflects its commitment to maintaining a dominant real estate position in California and the Southwest. Concurrently, Mervyns reported it has engaged DJM Realty, LLC, one of the nation’s leading real estate advisory firms, to sell 5-10 underperforming, but high real-estate-value, stores. The real estate portfolio transition is expected to generate $25 to $50 million in cash to fund operations and new growth initiatives.

The company also announced it will launch a fully integrated e-commerce Web site in the fourth quarter of 2008.  Mervyns said the e-commerce Web site presents a new growth vehicle and multi-channel opportunity for existing and new customers nationwide, and forecasts that the online platform could quickly grow into a $50 million business. Mervyns will partner with a nationally recognized provider of turnkey order entry and fulfillment services in launching its Web site.

Ceo John Goodman commented, “We have a plan that centers around our consumer and her needs, and we are putting the capital and people resources behind it to not only overcome the current difficult retail climate, but to gain market share and reinvigorate the Mervyns brand.”

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